Nancy Drew was my first detective. In third grade, I began to read the series and I was hooked. Here was a young woman--someone who looked like me (sort of!), who combined thought and action and could save herself and everyone else, as needed. She had a boyfriend, and girl friends, and a car. And a faithful servant, Hannah Gruen.
I was a sad, lonely child, bullied by my parents, curled up into myself to try to evade them. Books were a shelter. A place free of their tyranny. And when they caught me reading, they were livid! Get busy! Do something useful!
So I hid with Nancy Drew. I hid outside, I hid in corners of the house, I stayed on the move. And Nancy helped to give me an image of a self I could be--a girl whom no one pushed around, a smart girl, and a strong one. And did I mention the car? The roadster!
By fifth grade I had decided to become either a detective or a writer. Or maybe a writer of detectives. In sixth grade, I was thinking police woman decoy. But that was hormones.
As it turns out, writing has provided a life of adventure for me--in words, and on the road with my words and my imagination looking for new words and worlds. I decided to forgo the handcuffs.
Though just last week, on a writing trip to France, to Paris, I stopped in a kitchen shop for a corkscrew, and looked up to see a row of pink, fur-covered handcuffs! Only in Paris. Nancy Drew would have loved them! To have the last word, to lock it up, steely, and pink and covered with tickly fur...
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.