She Wore Red

I don’t consider myself a particularly “material girl,” and though I love beauty, fashion, and color, I’m more of a saver than a spender.  But all that melted when I saw The Dress.

Waves of silky garnet, the swish and sweep of fabric designed for a dancer…  It cost as much as ten regular dresses.  It was a queen’s gown, a victor’s laurel wreath.  I vowed that this was the dress I’d wear at my future book signing, God willing.

I didn’t have an agent, publisher, or even a batch of query letters.  But I’d dreamed of a stunning red dress for years.

at my book launch


I promised myself as I slid inside it, “This is how exquisite and beautiful I’ll feel when I can hold my own book in my hands.”  I’d have to wait a long time and endure a dusty, lonely path before this hope blossomed.  I bought the dress.

Here’s where it gets funny (and I mean the weird kind):

In the Moonlight and Oranges confession-of-love scene, Kestrin sees Lorona as a passionate woman who hides her emotions, “like an exquisite red dress stuffed into an old oak chest.”

can you tell we’re related?

Then, when my designer showed his initial idea for a book cover, the heroine wore an elegant, ruby-red dress.  He hadn’t read the book.  He didn’t know about the special gown in my closet.

Was a red dress such a part of me that it spilled out when I wrote?  Did I unleash something wonderful when I let myself splurge on this object of delight?  I like to think so.

Have you ever dressed or prepared for something you’d only hoped would happen?  What did you do that made your dreams drift closer?


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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I love this story so much! A well known blogger called Bloggess, began an amazing movement called The Red Dress for the same inner celebration that happens when a woman feels especially beautiful. She sends her gorgeous red dress all over the country for others to wear and take glamour shots while wearing and feeling like a Queen. Others have begun to do the same.
    Something extravagant and feisty about wearing red! YTour coloring is perfect in your red dress and I am inspired by your forward thinking!

    1. Susie, I love the idea of letting so many women wear a scarlet gown and feel like a Queen! That’s a beautiful movement she’s started! There’s something incredible that happens when we start feeling beautiful, isn’t there? I need to have more dress-up parties.

      1. Yes, you do need to have more dress-up parties!

        1. Livia! Yes! This is such a wonderful must for us ladies. 🙂

  2. I love how you use objects in your writing life (collages to help with settings; red dresses for inspiration; plants to create peaceful work environments). I think God has used these objects as sacraments–a way to display grace to you, and to those who journey with you in your writing.

    1. Scott, that’s very kind of you to say. I don’t think I’ve thought of objects that way before, but you’re right. I do receive grace through beauty, sometimes so strongly that I start crying when I see something very very beautiful. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. A beautiful post by a beautiful soul! Love it and love you!

    1. Thank you so much, Tess!

  4. I have a purple dress in my closet. It’s beautiful and flowy and I love it. I have yet to wear it. But I will. This post made me smile, and reminds me that someday I will have a booksigning, and I shall wear purple.

    1. Yes yes yes, Debbie! You shall wear purple at your book signing! I’m so glad this reminded you to keep seeing yourself in the purple flowy waves!

    1. Thanks, Jesse! I want more magical awesomeness in my life. Moments like these make me remember where some of that comes from.

  5. Oh how I love this, Elise!

    You “dressed for the part that you wanted” in every possible way, and ohmygoodness what a WIN!

    {Also? Way to rock the dress, girlfriend!}

    1. Galit, thank you! Dressing for the part outwardly makes so much align internally. I want us all to be able to dress the way we hope to feel. It helps so much. This is fashion at its finest.

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