When I Grow Up – Heather Huffman

When I Grow Up

I often say that Neena Allen, the main character in my novel Jailbird, is my hero. She has a lot of traits I love: wit, perseverance and resourcefulness to name a few.

In the opening chapters of the book, she finds herself starting a new life with nothing to her name – even the clothes on her back have been swiped from a stranger’s clothesline. When she settles into a sleepy Arkansas town, her only other possession besides those ill-fitting clothes is a pocket knife, which she’s used for everything from cutting her hair to digging up roots to eat.

Neena isn’t the kind of person to worry about what she doesn’t have; she simply does a mental inventory of the situation and what’s around and then turns it into something useful or positive — Kind of like a female MacGyver. A scrappy, Native American MacGyver, anyway.

Neena’s resourcefulness is something I aspire to in my own life, although my attempts seldom work out as well as hers. My chicken coop is a working example of how reality differs from fantasy – it’s made from recycled parts and, while functional, it looks more like modern art than a working coop. I’d include a picture, but I’m getting ready to dismantle the entire thing so I can rebuild it into something that’s both functional and aesthetic. I’m sure the chickens are hoping I succeed; I have my doubts.

Maybe I’ll never reach my character’s level of resourcefulness, but I can still aspire to be just like Neena when I grow up.



About Heather

Heather was born and spent her early childhood in Florida, but now calls the beautiful state of Missouri home. Her greatest joy, aside from writing, is to hit the road with her three boys for adventure unknown.

Heather is the author of Throwaway, Ties that Bind, Jailbird, Ring of Fire, Suddenly a Spy, Tumbleweed and Devil in Disguise. You can find out more about her writing and charitable work on www.heatherhuffman.net.

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