Ginnah Howard

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Novel: Doing Time Outside

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Cancer the Crab is the zodiac sign of character Carla MorlettiCarla:

She paces back and forth on her side, rubs her hands up and down her sweater sleeves to try to generate some heat. She does not want to have the blue-chatters when she begins her negotiations with Rudy. Okay, big thing is to leave no loopholes. Rudy, are you listening good? Have I got your full attention? I am considering…you hear that word ‘considering’ because I’m only considering…first hint of any attitude and I am un-considering…I am considering trying to raise the money it’s going to take to post bail. Put my house up for collateral, my house which I could lose if you take off, with the police dogs tracking you down all over the county. So, maybe I’m going to try to raise bail under these conditions:


Her faith is very important to Angela MorlettiAngela:

And then, there’s someone being pushed along in a wheelchair. A frail woman, a pale woman, wearing a terrible black wig. A wig that makes them both want to turn away.

She sees them. “One moment,” she tells the airport attendant. Then she rises up and moves toward them, her face a glow of joy. She takes them both in her arms. Who would think such thin arms could encircle so much and with such force?

“Here we are at last,” she cries. A laughing cry. She kisses Carla on both her Italian cheeks. Then places her hands on her granddaughter’s face. “Tess, sweet Tess, what a beautiful child you are.”


Tess prefers the company of her patients.Tess:

Cold, but she doesn’t want to run the heater. Got to conserve gas. No doubt she’ll end up driving her mother to Roscoe, the closest bail bondsman. Probably just as well they did impound Smithy’s truck, that her mother has no vehicle right now. Otherwise, when Rudy gets out, he’d borrow Mamo’s wheels or commandeer them. Certainly he’s not taking her truck—even though it means going to bed with her keys.

When she gets to the library, she’s going to google all the parts of the male brain, compare them to the female brain. She and Rudy have common ancestors, but no question, they’ve got different circuit breakers.


Rudy Morletti spends a lot of time in his Maverick.Rudy:

He sits as far away from the other trusties, the crap blasting from the TV, as he can. He presses both hands against his ears to better hear the last part of his letter. He crosses out ‘the good days’ and writes in Portland, Toronto, the city. Or maybe he should say: Remember, Sunny, the time on our way to Blue Mountain Lake when it was raining so hard we had to leave the motorcycle in the ditch. I can’t believe it, you kept saying when we found a lean-to with a stack of dry wood and a double sleeping bag wrapped in plastic, pinned to it a note ‘please leave me for the next wayfarer in trouble.’ That’s us for sure, you said.


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