Monthly Archives: June 2008

Character sketch — Jimmy Holt

b. 1976

Jimmy Holt is a buddy of Charm’s who, since he was a kid, has known EVERYBODY’s secrets. Some of his stories turned out to be tall tales. Problem is, Charm has never been quite sure which were and which weren’t, because some of his biggest whoppers turned out to be true!

Jimmy helps Charm train Rain. Jimmy is forever trying to get people to call him Jim instead of Jimmy, but it’s a losing proposition. Worse, a lot of the old timers insist on calling him Jimmy Lee, which his mother used to call him.

Jimmy was Charm’s partner in crime when they were kids. He was always getting into trouble — probably a good thing that Charm left, because they’d have ended up in prison together if he’d stayed. Jimmy flies a crop duster, plays video games, and drinks beer. He’s a pudgy version of his younger sister, Ella.

He’s nothing special really, about as ordinary as they come, yet he has been dating a hot older woman for years — long before anyone knew about it. Charm thinks it’s funny as hell that his friend is dating a cougar. His friends joke that she could be his mom. Before people knew he was dating her, he used to claim to be fishing all the time. Turns out Jimmy had the biggest secret of all!

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Character sketch — Bird Gannaway

b. 1974

Abnormally tall and skinny. Looks like a stork. Hooked nose. Got into a habit of balancing on one foot when he was a kid, and so he really does look like a flamingo. He’s quiet mostly and seems nonconfrontational.

He’s a sheriff’s deputy though. He went into law enforcement specifically so he could drive really fast. When he isn’t driving the squad car, he still has the same piece of shit beater he had in high school.

Henry is two years older than Charm and Jimmy. His biggest motivator in life is taking care of Ella. He wants her to love him — and she wants to love him — but she is damaged from the relationship with his brother. He thinks she’s still in love with his brother, but she’s just afraid to take a risk.

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Character sketch — Oscar Kosloski

b. 1975

He’s a year older than Charm and Jimmy and a year younger than Bird. He’s the most normal of the bunch. On the surface, anyway. Jimmy swears that he likes to dress in women’s clothes. He works at the family funeral home driving the hearse and sometimes helping prepare the corpses. Jimmy’s opinion is that if that doesn’t fuck up a kid, nothing will. He’s a good mechanic that tinkers with classic cars in his spare time and has secretly hot-rodded up the family hearse. He loves to hunt in his spare time, so he can really help Charm out with the who’s who and what’s what in that regard.

Oscar is jealous of Charm the way Charm was jealous of Jake. (And interestingly, Oscar is romantically interested in Leah.) Oscar is also a traditional trainer who hunts a lot with Layton. Layton trained his Lab before he went to work for Forbes. He tries to help Charm initially and is frustrated when Charm won’t take his advice.

There’s also tension from when Charm was a teen. Oscar had an awesome family life, and Charm was really, really jealous of that so Charm used to belittle Oscar’s family like crazy. Charm didn’t realize Oscar took it so personally, but he did, and he carries a bit of a grudge now.

Oscar tries to help Leah, but Charm sweeps in and takes over. When Oscar takes her out, Charm gets pissed. They get into a fistfight at the bar. Charm is forced to go to him to get help when Marie gets stuck. Charm can’t go to Layton. To his surprise, Oscar doesn’t rub it in. Instead, he gathers up a group of men and they brainstorm how to help. This establishes a peace between Oscar and Charm, which means Oscar can date Leah.

Charm wonders if he wears women’s clothes and tells Leah to let him know if she runs across anything suspicious.

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Character sketch — Smokey and Marisol Clarke

b. 1942 (Smokey), 1951 (Marisol)
d. 1997 (Marisol – breast cancer)

Smokey is from Jamaica. Marisol is Cuban. They met in the US.

Dottie met Marisol in college in 1969. Marisol was also 18. Her parents immigrated to the US through legal channels in 1958, seeing the coming revolution. They lived in New Orleans — he was a Jazz musician. She assimilated quickly thanks to her parents’ insistence. She excelled at school and was able to get into college. She faced major discrimination there though. Dottie befriended her and helped her ride out the worst of it.

Dottie was in college for only two years, but Marisol stayed. She met Smokey shortly after Dottie left. He was on vacation in New Orleans, and she was on a break from school. He was older than she was — started working for Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE) in 1962 when he was 20. So Smokey was born in 1942, which makes him 68 in 2010.

Smokey kept working for ABE until the late 70s, when ABE closed down. He went out on his own then and basically took over doing what ABE had done. They had four children; Marie was the youngest and the daughter of her father’s heart. The others have grown up and moved away and rarely come back to the small town in Louisiana where Smokey and Marie live and work.

Marisol passed away from breast cancer in 1997. Smokey found solace in his work. He had a stroke in the first year of Marie’s Master’s program at UNT (2005). She left school, came home, and took over the business. The stroke left Smokey unable to speak and weak on his right side. He has been unwilling to do much of his physical therapy. He hasn’t been able to help with the business which left Marie in charge.

Dottie comes to see him to ask him to help with Rain’s training. He and Dottie have both lost beloved spouses and so they strike up an unexpected friendship. This helps them both live again. Smokey and Dottie come to see Rain train one time. Marie asks his advice, which surprises him because she had been so quick to turn away his advice before. Smokey and Dottie also come to the field trial.

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Character sketch — Marie Clarke

b. 1984

Marie was born to Smokey and Marisol in 1984. Her first name is actually Smokey like her father, but she thinks Smokey Marie sounds like a racehorse, so she goes solely by her middle name. She grew up helping her father train exotic animals. When she was 18 in 2000, she went to UNT to study Behavior Analysis. The plan was for her to come back and join her father’s business as a master’s apprentice. However, he had a stroke in the first year of her Master’s program at UNT (2005). She left school, came home, and took over the business.

The stroke left her father unable to speak and weak on his right side. He has been unwilling to do much of his physical therapy. He hasn’t been able to help with the business which left Marie in charge. He had experienced trainers working for him, but she alienated them, and they left. She is arrogant — thinks she knows as much as her father, and perhaps more because of her school experience. She’s young — just 26 — and she doesn’t people to assume she can’t handle the business because of her age. Unfortunately, what she wants to come across as “strong and capable” instead is perceived as “arrogant,” and she is unable to ask for help when she needs it.

She thinks she knows everything, which is part of the reason she’s so controlling with Rain’s training. She gets stuck though and doesn’t want to ask for help. She is humbled when the “uneducated” retriever trainers can help her.

She is intrigued by the idea of training the dog because she knows no one has ever trained a field trial dog this way, and she thinks that might drive business to her business (which is starting to lack clients). That is why she agrees to her father’s request that she take on this project.

Marie wants/needs:

  • To succeed at the help of her father’s business.
  • To make a name for herself, so she isn’t just Smokey Clarke’s daughter.
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