Updated: Dec 19, 2018
I wrote the story 'Jody Jaffe' in the early 2000's. Jody is a real life reporter and writer who worked for the Charlotte Observer in the 1980's and 1990's. Jody broke her leg in 1984 in a horseback accident. At the time, Jody was the fashion editor for the Observer. A picture of her laying in a hospital bed with a note about the accident appeared in the paper. Jody was wearing a hospital gown. Her face and shoulders were visible. Although she was smiling, it was obvious she was in pain.
I met Jody a year later and we had a discussion about her injury. She told me she been placed in traction and later placed in a full leg cast for several months.
Jody became a novelist in the mid 1990's. In her first book, "Horse of a Different Killer", she described in some detail how the heroine of the book -- A Jody knock off -- broke her leg and had it set while semi-conscious in the ER.
I later became friends with Jody on Facebook. She always seemed to enjoy talking of her broken leg. It made a lasting impression on her at several levels. Her ex-husband, Sam, was not a cast lover. He resented her for breaking her leg. Jody told me he once drove her wheelchair into a wall to punish her for her misfortune. Sam, also a reporter for the Observer, actually won a Pulitzer Prize for a story about the PTL Club in 1988.
So, anyway, I was inspired to write a work of fiction about Jody and her broken leg. Like most of my stories, this one was Novella length. Certainly more substantial than a short story. But not quite a full novel. The story begins with Jody breaking her leg and ends with the application of her cast.
In addition to Jody, a number of semi-fictional people make their way into the story. Paige Perrell appears in many of my stories. In real life, she is a 40 year old mother of 2 who lives in Georgia. She had the misfortune of breaking her left arm three times in the space of 5 years. In my stories, Paige is a veteran bone breaker who has broken bones with an Evil Kneivel frequency.
Lynne Baucom, who visits Jody while she is in traction, was my next door neighbor growing up. Lynne broke her leg skateboarding when she was 12. Although younger than Lynne, I had to sit with Lynne when her mother went to the grocery store during Lynne's early confinement in her pearly white full leg cast.
It took me two years to finish 'Jody Jaffe'. Although I really don't consider the story finished. I had planned to write a sequel to the story addressing Jody's life in the full leg cast but never got around to it. If you have not read the story before, I hope you enjoy.
Link to my Jody Jaffe story: Jody Jaffe
And Jody's version of the accident in her book 'A Horse Of A Different Killer'; Book Link