This is my first post for The Stiletto Gang. I feel fortunate to be asked to join the group. Already, the other posters have sent me warm welcoming messages, which I very much appreciate. A grand thing about the writing community is the support offered and received. Maybe there is an enabling factor that urges authors who work so much in solitude to reach out to others who aspire to follow their path. An overwhelming generosity of spirit flows from writers who have made their mark to those toiling to achieve success.
From looking at past posts, I see that I’ll be filling a spot long held by Evelyn David, one of the founding members of the blog and a very prolific writing team of Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett. I’m humbled by the opportunity and know I have large shoes to fill. And, I’m grateful to my fellow posters for handing me Cinderella’s slippers. I just hope I don’t lose one or, if I do, that it’s returned by a prince!
As I considered my first message, I kept thinking about shoes. Shoes often seem to have been used in literature to define women. Consider the epic battle that ensues when Dorothy gets the witch’s ruby red slippers. Yet, eventually, those shoes become the vehicle that transports Dorothy home, on her own power.
When I was young, after school, I would wait in my mother’s classroom while she attended teachers’ meetings. I would listen to the footsteps coming down the hall and learned to recognize hers returning.
Later, when I went out into the workplace, I saw women navigating the sidewalks in high heels, their staccato tapping emphasizing their focus and determination as well as their rushing to the next appointment. The sound of their steps signaled a giddy assurance that they were in the right place and making important contributions through their work.
When I visited New York City, I walked along the streets, feeling a stronger connection with the place as my sneakers trod its thoroughfares. I had read that Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, who loved to travel, adored having someone stop and ask her for directions in a location she was visiting, because that made her feel as if she were part of the place. I remember my own thrill when I advised a tourist on a New York street corner. A sense of belonging is so reassuring.
I guess my favorite shoe image comes from To Kill a Mockingbird, when young Scout realizes Atticus is correct in telling her we never truly understand a person until we have a chance to walk in his shoes. To me, the scene where Scout stands on Boo Radley’s porch envisioning all that had happened in their town through his eyes is a truly powerful piece of writing.
So, thank you, Stiletto Gang, for including me among your posters. Thanks for your encouragement and for believing in me, a short story writer who strives to be a novelist. And, thanks for providing this forum for those of us who love mystery, romance, suspense, thrills, and good writing.
A legislative attorney and former law librarian, Paula Gail Benson’s short stories have been published in Kings River Life, the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, Mystery Times Ten 2013 (Buddhapuss Ink), and A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder (Dark Oak Press and Media, 2014). Her next short story, “Moving On,” will appear in A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman, an anthology due to be released by Mozark Press in November or December 2014. She regularly blogs with others about writing mysteries at http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com. Her personal blog is http://littlesourcesofjoy.blogspot.com, and her website is http://paulagailbenson.com.