PERSONAL BAGGAGE
A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

Why did you give weather such an important role in your novel?

Answer

I gave weather an important role in my novel because it greatly affects my life. I spend a lot of time outside in spring and fall. In summer, I have to water our yard to prevent the plants from dying--especially so, now that we are in a warming trend.

Winter weather often makes driving the car hazardous. Using seasons as the four sections of PERSONAL BAGGAGE enabled me to document my enjoyment of nature and to add that awful ice storm, that begins on p.203, into the story.

I have experienced two severe ice storms: one in Natchez, MS when I was a teenager and the second one after my husband and I moved to TN. Both were unforgettable!

Search result for 'weather' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...“We bid goodbye to a man we have all come to love,” the announcer said. “Dr. Storm has achieved an advanced degree in meteorology and he’s leaving us to become a Severe weather Specialist for the National weather Service. Tonight, he brings you the weather from this station for the last time.” ..."

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Chapter 3: Chapter Three
26.
"... were framed by caramel skin and Bible-black hair straightened into a pageboy style that never moved out of place. Penny grinned. “So you predict weather from bugs.” “It’s true! If I say a chicken’s dipping snuff, you’ll find the tin under his wing.” Laughing, they ..."

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Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
148.
"... like a croak. “I didn’t know what would happen.” Johnny spoke casually, as though talking about the weather. Removing Penny’s glasses, he placed them on the night table, then cupped his fingers under her chin and kissed her. “Goodnight.” He turned and left the room. Penny, ..."

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Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"...weatherurned on the television. With the roaring of chain saws as background noise, she and Johnny watched scene after scene of people trying to clear their driveways, pulling broken and sawed limbs to the street for collection. It looked like a war zone with brush barricades. Johnny ..."
62.
"... picked up the remote control and changed to The Weather Channel. “An ice storm has devastated our friends in Mississippi. We take you to Jacksonville where our Severe weather Specialist is standing by to tell you about it.” Penny leaned foreword, forgetting the hamburger for which she was ..."
"...Elijah Storm stood at the interstate exit to the hospital where cars crept around a multi-vehicle wreck. “Carnage,” he called it. “This is a catastrophic weather event.” He shivered in spite of a bright plaid scarf, a brown hooded jacket, gloves and boots. He seemed to have a sinus infection: his voice sounded nasal, and he turned away from the camera to cough just before the picture shifted to ice-coated trees and bushes. ..."
65.
"... and he turned away from the camera to cough just before the picture shifted to ice-coated trees and bushes. “Looks like our weather’s too severe for the experts,” Johnny said. “I hope it stays bad,” Penny said. “If the interstate’s clear enough tomorrow, Dr. Scales is going to ..."

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Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
55.
"... said. “He’s my best buddy.” Penny handed him the cup and moved on to John Brown’s closed door with its NO VISITORS sign. After knocking twice without reply, she entered the room. His TV boomed out the weather Channel’s Storm Series program. Maria sat at the bedside of a man ..."
63.
"... Penny emptied his water pitcher into the sink and retreated. A weather Specialist should know the difference between temperature and fever! Of course he had a temperature; he’d be dead if he didn’t! She returned with ice, the automatic ear thermometer, and the blood-pressure machine. ..."
85.
"... rang and Penny jumped up to answer it. “May I help you?” “I’m ready for coffee and send my nurse in here to find my contact lens. I dropped it in this damn bed.” It was the deep, resonant voice of the weatherman. Penny loaded a fresh pot of coffee and started toward Dr. ..."

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"...rising and falling like the surf, sailed toward her, and Penny passed beneath them. Through the rearview mirror, she observed the whole flock settling onto trees and electric wires, all of them just following the crowd. She wondered if any one of them had looked at the weather and thought it might have been too early to migrate. ..."

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8.
"... Back at home, Penny turned her TV to the weather Channel and listened while putting away the food. “If you don’t like the weather we’re having, just wait an hour and it will change,” the weatherman said. “This time of year you can expect anything from clear skies to a tornado.” ..."

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Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
"...warm breeze carried the grape-like scent of sprouting kudzu and a mockingbird called, “Wha-cha-need, wha-cha-need, pretty, pretty, pretty.” Recovered from her fright, Penny embraced the day like a morning glory reaching for the sun. She had shopping to do before she picked up Johnny’s bats, and today’s weather was fine for moving Dick’s snake outside. She would release it into the woods behind the Jacksonville hospital, a great home for the reptile. She showered and dressed, loaded the snake and its water dispenser into a cardboard box, placed the box on the back-seat floorboard, and ..."

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48.
"... smiled. “Her doctor calls it Sundown Syndrome.” Penny walked into an empty patient room, turned on the weather Channel, and gazed out the window as the sun inched upward, spreading light over the roof of the hospital entrance wing below. Carina came into the room. “Joyce is here early ..."

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"Margaret McMillion's PERSONAL BAGGAGE is a very entertaining story of professional life within a corrupt medical community, and the toll..."

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