Artist Jenny Zovein creates watercolor depicting key scene from Johnnie Come Lately, an award-winning novel

March 28, 2016

Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, published by Camel Press).
Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, Camel Press)

 

Author’s note: In the following passage from my novel, Johnnie Come Lately (Camel Press), the protagonist, Johnnie Kitchen, is standing at the kitchen sink reflecting on her mother who’s been missing for twenty-three years. Johnnie’s husband, Dale, spotted Mama at the war memorial the day before. 

Chapter 16

“Go Army”

Her mind drifted to the empty bench in front of

the war memorial a few blocks to the west. She imagined a

woman, limber and lithe, making her way to the bench. Once

seated, the woman tilted her head and said something to the

soldier. Then the birds scattered and the woman rushed away,

leaving nothing behind. As if she’d never been there.

“What are you thinking so hard about?”

Startled, Johnnie turned from the window and caught Dale

gazing at her.

The cherry tomatoes were still cupped in her hands. Water

dripped everywhere. She swallowed. “Mama.”

Amazon & B&N

 

bio for artist Jenny Zovein for Kathleen M. Rodgers' novel, Johnnie Come Lately (1)A note from the artist:

My name is Jenny Zovein. Colorado has been my home for the last 47 years. I was born in Pennsylvania in 1949. Shortly before my first birthday, my family moved to Colorado. During my childhood I lived throughout the United States in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah, California, Alabama, and Maryland. Doing a full circle brought me back to Colorado in 1969. I am retired and spend many hours doing my artwork. I started when I was a little child but only started watercolor painting in 2014. 

I am the mother of two grown children. My son and his wife live in San Francisco and my daughter lives near me. They both give me inspiration to continue what I love doing.  

I was fortunate to travel to Europe and visited Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, and England. This trip was a big factor in my love for art and culture.

To see more of Jenny’s work, click on the following links:

Jenny’s art page on Facebook

Jenny at Paintings I Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why there’s no “happy” in Memorial Day

Updated May 27, 2017

Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, published by Camel Press).
Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, published by Camel Press).

The following passage is from my second novel,  Johnnie Come Lately.  (Reader discretion advised).

     Johnnie was about to rave on Granny’s baked beans

when Callie Ann piped up, “Hey, D.J., tell everybody what

happened this morning when you went to buy cigarettes.”

     D.J. looked up from his plate. He put his fork down and

cleared his throat.

     “So, I’m standing in line at the 7-Eleven. The guy in front

of me pays for his stuff and says to this young female

cashier,‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Man, I thought that chick

was going to come over the counter. She shoves the guy’s change at him and

snarls, ‘What’s so fucking happy about Memorial Day?’ ”

     Johnnie cringed.

     Before anyone could say something, D.J. picked up his

plastic fork and stabbed at a pile of baked beans. “Sorry about

the F-bomb,” he apologized. “I’m just reporting what I heard.”

     Johnnie took a deep breath and reached for Brother’s head.

As usual, he was at her side, waiting for a scrap to fall. She

needed to hold onto the one member of the family who wouldn’t judge her.

Wouldn’t judge any of them.

     Running her fingers through his soft fur, she said what

needed to be said.

     “Well, considering that my father died in war, I have to agree

with that young lady at the 7-Eleven. There’s absolutely nothing

happy about Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to honor the

war dead.”

***

“I’m frustrated by people all over the country who view the day as anything but a day to remember our WAR DEAD. I hate hearing “Happy Memorial Day.” Jennie Haskamp, United States Marine Corp Veteran, for Washington Post.