This beautiful painting was done by a California artist named Gaye Lynne LaGuire.
Her work can be seen here.
The little girl seen in Gaye Lynne LaGuire's seaside painting is not the girl I was thinking about when I wrote The Blue Swimsuit, but she has the same look. Surprised, vaguely. Alone.
Funny, when Alan W. Davidson put out a call for short stories with a holiday theme for his Land's Edge Summer Fiction Contest, I immediately thought of a little girl with a blue bathing suit.
The photo was so clear in my mind. A faded photo, dating back to the late 1950s or early 1960s. A plain, brown-haired girl - not the dazzling beauty you see in this painting, but a regular girl.
She's on summer holidays with her parents who are drinking Labatt's 50 with friends at Wasaga Beach, a busy place in July, over run by people and cars, noise and laughter.
It's easy, in such a place, in such innocent times, to lose track of a youngster.
Lucky me, I received an honourable mention for the story, which you can read tomorrow at Alan's blog. It will be featured along with fellow honourable mention writer Pablo Gully.
So far the top three writers have been featured over at Land's Edge. Mike Robertson of Missouri came up with a gorgeous story about an imaginary holiday called Festival of the Lift.
David Barber of Crieff, Scotland, wrote a fabulous James Bondish adventure called The Millennium Princess.
And K.M. McElhinny dazzled me with The Light and Shadows of Independence, a scary yet infinitely real and human take on the American summer holiday.
The fun's not over after me and Pablo hang out with Alan. On Thursday you can read stories by fellow HMs Anthony Venutolo and John Wiswell. And on Friday don't miss HMs Michael Solender and Anton Gully.
Are the Gullys related? Are they the same guy? I don't know. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow. Maybe not until Friday. Maybe we'll never know.
I do know one thing for sure: Alan W. Davidson is a great guy, one of my favourite fellow bloggers. I thank him for organizing the contest and I thank his judges Laurita Miller and Ellen O'Toole for their, um, fabulous taste.