This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over that fifty years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen! Over the years I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories. If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next twelve weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.
Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.
You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/
This post in the series was kindly hosted by author D.Wallace Peach and you can find out more about her books at the end of the post…
The Department Store – Part Two – The Cosmetic Department.
I had been working in one of our large local department stores as I waited to begin my training in the Royal Alexandra Nursing Service.
Following on from my six weeks over Christmas and New Year in the shoe department of the store, I moved downstairs to the cosmetic department.
I was nineteen, and into make-up, as most of my generation was at the time. This offered me the opportunity to sample anything that I wanted, within reason, as I was appointed ‘roving consultant’. This meant that I would be trained by the different cosmetic houses in their individual products, and on their regular consultant’s day off, I would take her place.
For example, one of the cosmetic firms offered a powder blending service to its customers. This involved checking the skin tones of the client and then mixing a specific blend of powders for their complexion. There was a base powder and about twelve different shades that could be added. We used a giant spatula to whisk the powder over the tissue paper with little pinches of the different shades added until the perfect blend had been achieved.
The combination was noted on the client card, and would then be made up to that formula each time the customer needed it. The variety in my new position made my life much more interesting and I loved working with cosmetics and perfume.
I had been in the position about four weeks, and was practising my powder blending technique, when a rather large, reddened hand stretched across the counter towards me.
‘Have you something that might tone this down a little please?’ said a rather deep voice.
I looked up, a little startled by the depth of this female voice, to be confronted with rather an arresting sight. She was very tall with broad shoulders that were draped with long blonde hair. She also sported a five o’clock shadow. I was rather taken aback, as this anomaly was something I had not previously encountered. My training and upbringing took over and I stopped staring directly at her face and concentrated on the hand still being proffered to me.
‘I think that we might have a foundation that would tone down the redness,’ I offered.
‘I can then blend you a powder to ensure that it lasts all day if that would help?’
She smiled at me and perched on the little round stool the other side of the counter. The following half-hour was both informative and enjoyable. My new customer was funny and totally unconcerned by her strange appearance. She introduced herself as Dolly and regaled me with her recent escapades on her path to becoming the woman she wished to be. One of these being the removal of hair on the backs of her hands and lower arms. Hence the reddened skin on show.
As I came to the end of her particular powder blend, she leant across the counter and motioned for me to come closer.
Slightly reluctantly, I edged forward until I was staring into large blue eyes, below rather bushy eyebrows that were considerably darker than the cascade of blonde hair.
‘My real name is Arthur’ she whispered quietly. ‘I have to dress and live like this for a year before I undergo more treatment.’
This encounter was to lead to a rise in takings for the cosmetic department, as we became the best place to go for advice and products to enhance feminine beauty, for anyone who needed it.
Dolly became our unofficial PR agent, and I was invited to a party in a pub one night, where I was delighted to see all our advice and products being used to their full advantage.
What a lovely bunch of ladies and they taught a young woman much with their bravery and support for one another.
Dolly went on to star in my book Just an Odd Job Girl with some creative embellishments.
©Sally Cronin – 2017
Next week the Steak House originally hosted by John W. Howell.
Short story anthologies.
You can find all my books at these links:
Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin
My thanks to Diana Peach for hosting me last year and whilst I am sure you are familiar with her fantastic books here is a reminder.
About D. Wallace Peach
I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.
I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.
D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.
A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach
A recent review for Myths of the Mirror.
After I finished reading D. Wallace Peach’s The Rose Shield Series, I found myself bereft, desiring more of her storying. A visit to her Amazon Author page gave me everything I needed. I was thrilled to find her first series, Dragon Soul Quartet and couldn’t wait to dive right in.
The Myths of the Mirror, Book One, is a haunting tale of resplendent dragons, exhilarating magic, and how the myths of the people from Taran Leigh and the Mirror intertwine and intersect. Their myths become the allegory from where ancient enlightenment springs.
Far from the village of Taran Leigh is a spot in the wilderness where a bowl-shaped lake, called the Mirror, hosts a civilization of people who ride the bejeweled dragons in the Old Way communicating with their souls as they become one with the dragon’s spirit. This merging of man and dragon comes by invitation from the dragon, signifying a magical union like no other.
In comparison, the dragons of Taran Leigh are imprisoned, forced to live in a stone lair, and brutalized by their captors, all the while compelled to perform for “coin.” Years ago, the greedy governors tricked the skyriders into believing their lies, looking only for ways to line their own pockets. The people of Taran Leigh have lost their connection to the old ways.
It takes a calamity greater than Terasa and Conall have ever known to teach them the myths of their people. Conall faces his demons while Terasa learns the myths of her father and those of the magical dragons who teach the lessons of “the tie” and of “the belonging.”
I know I’ve written before how I feel like a silly fan gushing over Diana Peach’s work. But, I must share with you that this book touched me in ways I have never experienced before. It was as if I had my own epiphany, at one with the divine truths the author penned in this tome. I can only say that my reading was akin to a spiritual encounter. The entire reason I read is for that magical connection, and The Myths of the Mirror delivers that and more.
I loved this first book so much, I’ve bought the entire series! ❤ Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet Book 1)
MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars
To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach
Connect to D. Wallace Peach
Thank you for dropping in and look forward to seeing you again soon. Thanks Sally