What do you see?
A group of really beautiful, really smart, really talented women, right? And, oh yes, one adorable Red Husband who I hear was quite the hit. Jan, however, wasn't there, nor was I. Waahhh.
See those scrumptious red pashminas?
Jan - did you get one of those?
If I had known about those scrumptious red pashminas I would have been there! (well, that's probably not really true, but can I whisper the word "covet" here? I did want to be there, even before I knew about the pashminas. . .) Maybe next year.
While some of The Reds are kicking up their heels in Cleveland, having a grand ol' time I'm sitting on my bed in Boone, NC writing about angels while wearing a cheap flimsy knock-off red pashmina.
Somebody has to hold down the Sunday Red Fort and this Sunday that would be me.
And, as usual, I'm tickled pink (pink is a shade of red, right - there are lots of shades of red. Maybe 50. . . . ) to be a part of this group.
|(RED Angels wear tiaras rather than halos)|
We’ve all heard about angels who walk the earth disguised as humans.
Many of us are lucky to have met a few.
Many of them came to me through the
mystery community – including the women
here at Jungle Red.
I’ve brought yet another angel along with me today. Some of you will already know him. For those of you who do not, please allow me to introduce you to Earl Staggs ( http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com/all-about-earl/ ). A man I love. Yes, yes – not to worry - Donald is totally aware of the fact that Earl is in my life – and in a very big way. Nowadays while I’m writing and pondering over a particular phrase or problem I will run it by Donald. He’ll think it over and he’ll offer suggestions. And follow it up by saying, “Run it by Earl.” I love that.
I met Earl a few years ago through DorothyL. I don’t remember exactly how it all came to pass, although Earl may (I think I’m older than he is, so his memory should be a little better). We discovered that we both grew up in Maryland – me on the Eastern Shore and Earl in Baltimore. We started sharing stories and strolling down Memory Lane and realized we both had spent a lot of time in Ocean City, MD. Our hope is to one of these days get to spend some time there together along with my Donald and Earl’s much adored better half, Carol. We almost made that wish come true a couple summers ago, but you know how it goes – best laid plans going astray and all that. But we haven’t given up – we still want to mosey and meander down that boardwalk along the beach with the ocean breeze blowing. Snack on Dolle’s popcorn, fudge (chocolate for me, peanut butter for Earl) and saltwater taffy. Eat Thrasher’s French Fries and go visit Laffing Sal in the little Ocean City Museum. A lot of that part of the Ocean City Boardwalk is pretty much just like it was when I was going there as a kid with my mom and dad. I loved it then and still do. Those are lovely memories. I still ride Trimper’s carousel when we visit, and I can always hear my dad’s laugh when we walk through Playland.
As time went on as Earl and I were getting to know one another and eventually become good friends I read his book MEMORY OF A MURDER which remains one of my favorite books to this day and one I buy to give to friends. It takes place in Ocean City and here’s a little story that give me goosebumps.
|(For those of you who have read "Memory of a Murder," one of those condo units in the photo on the left is where Adam lives. The photo on the right is his view)|
He’s been the recipient of the Derringer Award two times. You can read two of his stories at his webpage – The Day IAlmost Became A Great Writer and White Hats and Happy Trails. You may be able to guess who White Hats and Happy Trails is about - a hero to many of us. Roy Rogers. And this is Earl's story about meeting that great man.
Next thing I knew, I had two pieces being published in regional anthologies. Projects I will always be proud to have been able to be a part of. I was a happy gal writing those types of memoir and opinion pieces, and I think blogging was born with my name on it – it was where I found my voice and where I share my heart.
I have never worked so hard. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and I am enormously proud of myself and the novel. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I do know that. And honestly? I don’t care. I have written a novel. And it’s a story I love filled with characters I love. That in itself is something to be proud of. Any of you out there on the same journey I am – do not EVER let anyone try to dismiss or diminish your accomplishments. Take it from me – there are those who will try. I promise you – they’re out there. You’ll be quite surprised where they pop up from. Be prepared. But. At the same time, there will be many more who are going to applaud you along the way. Many who will go out of their way to help and support you. Embrace them and maybe you’ll find your own angel, just like I did. We all deserve angels in our lives.
Earl gets to wear a halo - of course. As he's helped me make this journey as my friend and mentor/teacher and editor, he's been tough. But he has also been immensely fair. And his applause and words of praise have been balm to a sometimes wounded soul. His fairness has kept me going.
There’s a delightful story Earl’s told about giving a talk about writing to a kindergarten class. You should read it - http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/my-kindergarten-challenge/ . And after his talk, those little kids who had fallen head over heels in love with Mr. Earl, just like everyone who has ever met him, gave him the ultimate accolade – a loud and rousing ‘WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! FOR MR. EARL!” and in my heart, I join them in that cheer.
And now, HERE'S Earl - - -
Kaye, I’ve been called a lot of things, but I don’t recall angel being one of them. Before you change your mind, I’m going to go out and get fitted for a halo. I may even take up playing a harp.
See There! He is an angel! For real!
And now Reds, it's your turn! Who are your angels? Have they kept you on your feet during difficult times and made sure that, above all things, you continue believing in yourself and what you're doing?