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Who are you?

I often find myself asking that very question! Where to start? My name is Wendy, but you probably know me as "Scarlett" as well.

Wait a minute . . . Why Scarlett?

Four years ago, when I started surfing the world wide web, I needed a screen name, so I chose "Scarlett" – as in Scarlett O’Hara from "Gone with the Wind" – not because I thought of myself as southern belle (okay, maybe a little) but because I identified so closely with her motto, "Tomorrow, after all, is another day." There were many times growing up that my mom called me "Scarlett" due to my legendary procrastination – "I can do that tomorrow!". I also like calling myself "Scarlett" because she was from the South, and, well, so I am. I’m very proud of my "Dixie" heritage!

Just recently, I discovered that my real name, "Wendy", was created by J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. I’ve always wanted a literary name, so I was thrilled with my discovery.

Call me Scarlett, or call me Wendy – either is fine!

So who is Scarlett (aka Wendy)?

Let’s see . . . I’m in my early thirties. I’m a Christian. My favorite color is blue. I love bubble baths, romance novels, and fried green tomatoes. I hate laundry, rude drivers, and mayonnaise. I was a cheerleader in high school, but I was also the class valedictorian – just don’t tell anyone that there were only 9 in our graduating class! LOL! My favorite classic novel is Little Women; my favorite musical is Les Miserables. I used to be naturally blonde; now I cheat. My favorite city is St. Augustine in Florida. I like country music. I dislike grocery shopping. I’m proud to be an American. I have a younger sister who is very like me in some ways and very unlike me in other ways.

And, I’m married to a wonderful man named Jason who is my best friend and soulmate. I’d like to say we were high school sweethearts, but we weren’t, although we did meet in ninth grade at a "Back to School" Party. The theme was "Fifties", so the first time Jason saw me I was wearing a poodle skirt and saddle oxfords. He was the new kid, and I thought he was kind of nerdy. On the other hand, Jason did turn out to be cool to sit next to in typing class because he always had paper and correction ink, and I always had none. A year later, after a basketball game one night, he asked me for my phone number, but I didn’t give it to him. (He found my number in the phone book anyway.) The next year, I had a major crush on him, but he was dating my then best friend. I, therefore, started dating his best friend. In high school, Jason and I went on exactly one date together. After he "broke my heart" (when he started dating my best friend), I swore I would never go out with him again. Never! I mean it!! However, out of the blue one day during our freshman year of college, he called and asked me out, and I said . . . Yes. When my mom reminded me that I had sworn that I would never go out with him again (Never! I mean it!!), I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Free meal, free movie, Mom!" (College has a way of changing one’s perspective.) So, on February 8, 1992, we went on our 2nd first date. During the movie, he held my hand, and, while walking back to his truck after the movie, he told me, "You know, it’s proper etiquette for the girl to sit in the middle of the truck seat." And that was when I knew. My parents always sat up and waited for me, so, when I came in that night, my mom asked, "How was your date?" I replied, "I’m gonna marry him." On April 8, 1995, I did.

We live in Tennessee in the same town where we were both born and raised, and, in April 2005, we’ll have been married for 10 years. We currently live in a house that we are renovating room by room.

Besides our wedding, the two other major events in our life have been the birth of our daughter in 2000 and the birth of our son in 2001. For a while, we didn’t think we were able to have children, so I look at our children as beautiful answers to prayer. Our son is only 18 months younger than our daughter, so I almost have my own set of almost-twins!

Jason works "swing shift" at an electricity plant, and I worked in the human resources department of a local community college for 8 years before I was able to quit in 2001 to stay home with our children. Right now, I’m a full-time "domestic engineer" and the part-time secretary for our church. We also enjoy working with teenagers, and Jason has been our church’s youth group director for about seven years.

Jason and our children are my life, and we manage to stay pretty busy with our different family, church, and work responsibilities. Together, we have a crazy, beautiful life that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

Okay, enough about you already! What about Trixie?

Since you asked, Trixie is the title character of the Trixie Belden book series, a children’s mystery series created by Julie Campbell in 1948. There are 39 books in the series, and I have all of them except for #8 and #39.

My daughter asked me what I used to want for Christmas when I was a little girl. I told her, "Trixie Belden books!" Growing up, my favorite things were my Barbie dolls and my Trixie Belden books. The very first Trixie I read was The Gatehouse Mystery, and it’s probably still my favorite. I can still remember going to the Woolworth’s inside our mall and heading for the shelf where the Trixie Belden books were kept. Back then, new books sold for $1.50. How exciting it was to get a brand new Trixie! I had the cream oval editions. However, our school library had about five of the hardback editions with all the wonderful pictures, and I checked them out all the time! Wherever I was, I normally had a Trixie Belden book with me, and all of my Trixie books are well read, well loved, and well worn. I read in the car, in restaurants, and with a flashlight propped underneath my covers at night. Once, I couldn’t bear to put my book down, so I took it into the grocery store. While my mom shopped, I trailed along behind her with my nose in my book. It was probably Trixie Belden books that started a lifelong love of reading for me, and Trixie Belden became a part of my life in a way that nothing else did. Whenever someone says anything about poison ivy, I still interject, "Leaflets three – let them be!". Among other things, I also learned how to forge a signature, tap on walls to see if there were hollow spaces, and how important it is to be sure there are no open sores in my mouth if I’m going to be sucking poison out of a snakebite wound. I wanted to be Trixie. I wanted to be a Bob-White and go on trips with them, share meals at Wimpy’s, attend meetings in their clubhouse. And, *sigh* I wanted to be the recipient of fond looks! All of my Trixie Belden books are dog-eared on the Jim/Trixie moment pages. One year for Christmas, my parents gave me a bracelet that, to me, looked a little like an identification bracelet, and I was completely ecstatic! I wore it on my wrist every day and pretended it came from Jim! Many of my books have my name and Jim Frayne’s name scribbled all inside the front and back covers.

You’re a Jim fan?

Oh, yes. However, I adore all the Bob-Whites! There’s just something about Jim Frayne. From the first moment that his green eyes locked with Trixie’s blue eyes over that dirty mattress, I was hooked. So, in case you’re wondering, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the Bob-Whites’ pairings – I see Jim with Trixie, Brian with Honey, and Mart with Diana. (That is not to say, however, that their journeys will always consist of blue skies and smooth sailing . . .)

So what is Katje’s Lighthouse?

Really, I guess I need to first tell how I came to the world of Trixie Belden fanfiction. In September 2003, I was on the message board at a home organization site. In one thread, someone asked what our favorite books as a child had been. I, of course, responded with Trixie Belden. Someone else then asked if I knew that the books were being published again? *gasp* No, I didn’t know! However, just the thought of the books made me want to re-read mine. That very night, I drove over to my parents’ house, found my box of Trixie Belden books in their garage, took them home with me, and I haven’t been the same since. I did an internet search for Trixie Belden and found The Trixie Belden Homepage where there were . . . new Trixie stories! (Cue the "Hallelujah" chorus!) From there, I found Jixemitri with even more new Trixie stories! And, then I discovered the message board where I met Trixie fans just like me! Jason came home to find me practically dancing on the ceiling! Those first few weeks, I was like a zombie from staying up all night reading all the wonderful fanfiction – but I was a happy zombie!

I was always frustrated with the way the series ended, so reading the fanfic stories was so supremely gratifying to me! Growing up, I made up all kinds of Trixie stories and acted them out with my Barbie dolls. The fanfic stories were like dreams coming true! And, it was the re-reading of the books and reading the fanfic stories that caused the characters to become alive for me again. I began to go to bed thinking about the characters, or, as I drove down the road, I would imagine stories the characters were telling me.

If my husband and my children are my life, writing is my passion. I have always loved writing. When I was seventeen years old, in my journal, I listed 100 things that I wanted to do before I died. Two of those things were to write the great American novel and to win the Pulitzer Prize. Neither is ever going to happen, but writing makes me happy.

Like Mart, I love words. I love arranging words to tell a story, and, as you can see, I can ramble on and on endlessly. From the very first Trixie fanfic story I ever read, there has been a little voice inside my head urging me, "Write a Trixie story." For a while, the voice remained a whisper, and I was quite content to read all the terrific fanfic and simply keep my imagination to myself. However, one day as I was getting ready to take a shower, the voice in my head practically screamed a line at me. I surrendered to the voice and started writing.

Coincidentally, that line turned out to be the first line of the first story in "Katje’s Lighthouse".

As to why I’ve called this "Katje’s Lighthouse", well, that’s sort of explained in "Echo", the first story, so I won’t bore you with the details. J Suffice it to say that "Katje’s Lighthouse" is my way of letting the characters live again. I also felt that my "universe" needed to reflect a little bit of me, and, since I love the ocean and lighthouses, the "Katje’s Lighthouse" theme just kind of seemed natural.

Anything else?

To paraphrase The Red Trailer Mystery, dreams sometimes come true! However, this wouldn’t have been possible without the encouragement and support of some terrific Trixie friends and without the awesome generosity of GSDana. That’s all except - -

Thank you for visiting Katje’s Lighthouse!!

I hope you enjoy your stay, and may you always have a beacon to light your way!

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Trixie Belden is a registered trademark of Random House Publishing.  These pages are not affiliated with Random House Publishing in any way and are not for profit.  The individual stories and created characters of this site are owned by the author and may not be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.