This week’s Fodder for Fiction Birthday Bash is a celebration of Fannie Flagg! In honor of this special occasion, I thought I’d share some insights and advice about life from one of Fannie’s many colorful characters. Mrs. Tot Whooten sets the stage before Standing In the Rainbow begins. She’s a trip!
“…I cannot depend on my children but that’s another story. Enough said. You get the picture. I have a lot of nervous energy but I am not perky. There is nothing worse than a perky old person. It is not natural. Although I am not a main character, being in a book has made me stop and think. So before I get myself out of the way and let you start, I will say this: people’s lives are sure ruled by a lot of what-ifs, aren’t they? For example, on a personal note . . . what if I had died giving birth to Dwayne Jr. (not an unpleasant thought, considering recent events). I would not even be here, but more important to the story you are about to read, what if Dorothy Smith had never met the Oatman Family gospel Singers? What if Betty Raye Oatman had never even met Hamm Sparks? What if Hamm Sparks had not met up with foul play? Oh, I could go on and on but I won’t. I hate when somebody tells me how something ends. And a word to the wise: don’t be like me and skip to the last page. I have ruined many a book doing just that. As I said before, I am only included in the story every once in a while but after you finish, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts you will wonder how I have managed to wind up as good-natured as I have.
Mrs. Tot Whooten
P.S. Don’t ever marry a man that drinks.
Excerpt from the Foreword of Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
I hope you enjoyed the party!
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction