When I was seven, Maurice Sendak published Where the Wild Things Are ... as controversial in its time and place as the Harry Potter series.
I loved the book--though I was too old for it, by that point, at least in my reading tastes--and particularly enjoyed the illustrations. They captured something about childhood, and how I, at least, saw the world.
Sendak was trying to do something groundbreaking, creative and different ... just like so many writers before and since, in genres from children's literature to contemporary literary fiction, from mysteries and thrillers and suspense, oh my! to the entire world of self-help and informative non-fiction.
Even at that young age, I realized Sendak and his book were special. So were the Nancy Drews I devoured, thanks to a kind teacher at an impoverished elementary school in Quincy, Florida, where I spent part of second grade. So were D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, and later A Wrinkle in Time, and so many others ...
And so it is with books. They guide us, they lead us, they shape us. They take us to where the wild things are, and unleash the wild things in ourselves, without which no book would be written, no story imagined.
I'm honored to be a part of Redroom, honored because, to me, it is the adult version of Sendak, a forest where writers and readers of just about everything and anything can come together ... talk ... and make a difference. Individually--and collectively.
I've done many things in my life, have worn many hats in addition to a fedora. I've owned and operated a comic book store and was a retail expert in that area; I ventured into the academic arena and became a published scholar and speaker on classical studies. But all my life, I have written ... and it is with a profound sense of joy that I join this community, bound together with an ethos I have witnessed again and again in the writing world, even in the short time I've been privileged to be a part of it:
Making things better. Reaching out. Communicating. Sharing our differences, sharing our commonalities, celebrating our individuality, celebrating our humanity.
Redroom is, indeed, where the writers are. Where the wild things are. And where the ethos that can and will build a better life for this fragile planet and its inhabitants finds its natural home.
Causes Kelli Stanley Supports
In Defense of Animals
The Jane Goodall Institute
The Ocean Conservancy
World Wildlife Fund
The Humane Society of the United States