And for today’s lesson…

A Challenge
I am presenting a challenge to anyone reading this blog. Actually, it probably breaks down into several challenges, but let’s start with this.

I would like everyone to go out and read George Orwell’s 1984. I want you to read it even if you’ve read it before. I want you to read it even if your high school literature teacher forced you to read it and you hated every moment of it because, well, high school. I want you to read it even though it’s considered an important piece of literature and you never met an important piece of literature you could stand to be in the same room with. Just read it. It’s short. On the surface, it’s easy to read. But, I won’t kid you, it’s a think piece. You’ll come away questioning things. You’ll look at world, both the one in which Orwell lived, and, more importantly, our own, in a different way. It’s not necessarily, in the end, a pleasant experience.

Read it anyway. Then have someone you like to talk to read it. Then discuss it. That part is important. You should absolutely discuss it. Hell, discuss it here. Just do it.

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I’m not shy. I’m just really, really, REALLY quiet.

I am shy.  I’m a shy, shy person.

If you know me from my work, this will come as a surprise to you, I’m sure. Working with young children means that I must work with grown-ups as well. I have to be bright, bubbly, informative and almost aggressively friendly. Those parents entrusting me with their most precious commodity need to trust that no matter what either they or their child needs, I’ll be there and I’ll be able to provide.

At work, I find this easy. I’m glib and fun. I’m just the kind of person you want caring for your family. Really. Put me in a room full of people over the age of four, however, and suddenly I’m the kind of person you notice because they are trying so hard not to be noticed.

It’s almost as if I’m a different person. I stumble over words. I hide my smile. I become suddenly and completely engrossed in any available reading material. You’d be surprised how many Far Side Calendars there are in the world, or how interesting the back of a CD case can be.

I have always been shy, and really it’s no longer a big problem in my life. I like people and all, but I also have learned that I keep myself pretty good company. Besides, the bratcat would never let me get too lonely.

I am a little bit worried, however, that my wall-flowery attitude will eventually get in my way when I am finally ready to publish. A huge part of publishing anything is self-promotion. Just the idea of pressing the flesh and selling my self as a part of my product scares the bejebbus out of me, and I need all the bejebbusses I can get.

Sometimes, when I contemplate my future, I find myself wondering if I’m up to the task. Once that thought hits, it’s all I can do to keep from closing my file, turning off my computer and hiding under the covers of my bed.

What about you all?  What scares you?  Have you figured out a way to get beyond it and get what needs to be done?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

By the way…

It has come to my attention that my good friend, sister of the soul, some time writing companion and all around great gal, Leanne D. Baldwin disagreed with my recent essay, “America’s Love Affair with All Things Zombie”.  What’s more, she’s disagreed in a very pubic manner.

You can find Leanne’s silly, interesting article here.

Mind you, Leanne is my very best friend in the world, my sister of the soul, my sometime writing companion and an all around swell kind of gal.  She is normally the smartest person that I know. Further more, she, like every American, has a right to her opinion, no matter how, shall we say, misguided.

I’m sure she simply misunderstood my position or she would have never made such a silly mistake. Once she realizes this she will no doubt apologize, just as publicly, and we will have a virtual hug and all will be forgiven by me.

I’ll wait politely.