Ok, so, as some of you know, I am working on writing a children’s picture book. It’s a sweet, uplifting little book that features the newest addition to our family, Chance the dog, as the protagonist.  (Click here to read his blog)

As you also may know, I don’t have kids. Nope, never really wanted them. In fact, at the age of oh, say, 13, I made the announcement that I would never have children. I think this may be because that’s about when I started being big-time rebellious in my teeny-tiny hometown of  Harlan, Ky. and my mother “threatened” me with words I will never forget. “You just WAIT until you have a teenage daughter!” Yes, it was those words, repeated over a period of several years, that convinced me that I would never give her the satisfaction of letting those words come to fruition.    And honestly, I never regretted my decision to remain child-free.  I’ve never been one of those “oh, a baby! Let me hold him,”  kind of people. Take ’em or leave ’em. Shoulder shrug. No big deal.  Ahhh, but I digress…

Now, at 51, I realize that in order to attain interest in my hidden gem, my soon to be discovered blockbuster debut, that I need a platform on which to stand. And that platform better damn well be related to children.  So, having none of my own, and no nieces or nephews in the picture, where am I going to find little ones that will appreciate my genius?

Rewind a couple of months. While checking out children’s picture books at our public library, I asked the librarian if they had a children’s reading program. It just so happens that their reader left in the fall, and they were looking for someone to replace her. Jackpot! Bingo! I gave her my card, the main branch manager called me, and voila– I am now the Tuesday morning reading lady.

So now I have anywhere from 20-40  1 to 3 year olds that single file into my reading room every week, sit attentively at my feet and listen to whatever stories I have picked out for them that week.  Well, being as my book is about a dog, I typically choose at least one book per session that revolves around a dog, and they eat it up!  (They especially like when I use my “voices” to recreate the dialogue  of the different characters.)  Back in Junior high school, I was into storytelling, and won some regional awards for my re-creation of “The Grandfather Tales” stories in competitions. I’ve always been a storyteller, I just needed an audience. Now I have it. A captive audience, but an audience, nonetheless.

So in the process of gaining a “platform” by volunteering at the library, which began as a purely selfish act, I have come to look forward to my time spent with these little ones.  I love to see their faces light up when they recognize a specific creature on the pages. We have fun practicing the sound a frog, or a dog, or a hog makes.  And when they become restless between stories, we stand up and sing and dance, and I like that, too.   It’s funny how things work out that way.

omgwtfbbqOhmygod—I may have really done it this time! I may have just set myself up big time! Or not. I don’t know.  I just know that as the date gets closer, my anxiety/anticipation/ self-doubt is keeping me up at night, and when I do sleep, it is fitful and full of bizzaro dream-scenes.  What in the hell is she talking about this time, you ask.  OK, here’s the deal….

Remember last spring, when I totally went outside my comfort zone of the whole if you’re on the other side of the screen. you’re safe? You know, when I drove to Tennessee to meet an old high school bud and spent the night??? I kept wondering if she might be the psycho-bitch from hell?

Well, since then, I have had several more visits with friends that I’ve reconnected with on facebook, (none overnight, I admit), and they have all gone really, really well. Granted, most have been kept to within a reasonably short amount of time (no more than a few hours), and most have been with people I’ve seen in the last, say 15-20 years.

But now–again, ohmygod, now I may have really stretched myself a bit beyond the rational. I  have agreed to a Girlfriends Retreat in Sedona, Arizona!!!!  And wait–there’s more–I haven’t seen Debbie, the girl who invited me, since 8th grade!!!! And Bertha? Not since I got sent off to boarding school my junior year. And Sharon??? (I think that’s her name)—I’ve never met her in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yyyyyyiiiiiiikkkkeeesss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did this happen? Am I nuts?? Well, blame it on facebook. After these other successful mini-reunions, I got all warm and fuzzy, declairing that now that I’ve turned 50 I’m gonna put myself out there and reconnect.  So when Debbie-who was a really good, maybe my best, friend in 7th and 8th grades “friended” me this spring, I of course accepted her into my “facebook life”.  Again, there is a HUGE saftey net there. After chatting back and forth, we realized that we both shared the love of travel, animals, and nature. More chatting, more clicks on the Like button, and another old friend in common.  Pretty much the same with Bertha, this summer.

When I received a message that Debbie was inviting us to Sedona, i was intrigued. Admittedly, I did not immediately accept her generous offer (she has a time share), but out of curiosity I looked at airfare. Hmmmm…not bad. I’ve always wanted to go to Sedona. I’ve thought a lot about how both Debbie and Bertha were, after reconnecting on fb…WTF??? I did it. I committed.

To 5 days, sharing a bedroom, in a condo with not one, not 2, but 3 other girls!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m nervous, I’m curious, I’m excited! And I leave this weekend!  Color me crazy or color me brave, just check back next week for an update.