Friday, July 20, 2007

The Early Worm Gets The Early Show

I'm a firm believer (moreso recently) in getting involved in things. Sticking your finger in the pot. As a mother of two, with business, writing, etc., I might not always "get out there" as much as I would like. Well, today I did. And let me tell you, it was bright and EARLY!

My alarm clock went off this morning at 4:15 am. Yes, you read it right. I slipped upstairs and showered, dressed, downed some coffee and headed out into the dark to be in downtown Charleston by 5:30 am. With the help of some very kind Charleston policemen, I found a parking spot along the Battery by White Point Gardens where I was to be part of the "street team" with CBS The Early Show.

I donned a red shirt and joined a couple handfuls of other college-age folks (ahem, maybe I'm a wee bit older, but no one could tell, I'm sure of it). We were instructed by some very nice producers and production people with the show to keep the audience members out of certain places, move them around to other places when Dave Price did his weather report from a horse carriage, in the park, by a statue, in front of the Winnebago...well, you get the point. Audience management. Civilized crowd control. I had the pleasure of smiling at folks, watching the beautiful hat ladies dance, thanking everyone for coming, and basically, just becoming another person for a few hours.

When Harry Smith wasn't doing his thing, the audience got to hear a live concert by Hootie and the Blowfish, our hometown heroes. It was truly a treat. Lead singer, Darius, has been suffering an infection this summer and has had to cancel much of the tour. He was back onstage, although sitting and with IVs hanging from his arm, but was in terrific form otherwise. The band will start touring again next month. Many blessings and prayers for Darius for a speedy recovery.

There was so much excitement this morning. It was an honor to work with such an unbelievable team of professionals. These amazing people from New York were a pleasure, and I suspect they felt the same way about our fair city. I'm so proud to be a Charlestonian and love the video segments that came from The Early Show today. Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

Sometimes, it's fun to shed your skin for a little while. Wake up too early in the morning. Do something you've never done before. Go incognito. Become an intern or volunteer, even if you're "over aged" like me. Here's life: insert self here. As a writer, new experiences can only add to great fiction, right? I had a ball and have a new respect for some very hard-working New Yorkers from CBS The Early Show.

Thanks, guys! I'll be watching next week!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fear of Heights

I spent much of the day yesterday overcoming my fear of heights. Of course, the fear remains, but I made steps to prove to myself that the fear does not own me. My family is on vacation in the mountains of North Carolina. Yesterday we drove the winding, narrow road up to Chimney Rock where we proceeded to exit the truck, enter a long tunnel in the rock and then an elevator which goes something like 26 stories up in 30 seconds. Claustropobia is another fear of mine, but I couldn't even think about that. I was too concerned with keeping me and my two small children safe at the top of Chimney Rock. (My husband could take care of himself.)

Yes, I looked down. I made myself do it. And my two-year-old son didn't want to walk on his own, so I carried him up the steps across a vast chasm up to this rock perched precariously 2200 feet in the air. I didn't even hold onto the rails lest I drop my child. I was in protective mode. Mothering does wonders for making you forget about self. This includes fears. And the view? Unbelieveably gorgeous. I'm glad we did it. I have to hand it to my husband, he pushes me out of my comfort zone sometimes...and I let him. It's good for my soul.

On the way back to our mountain retreat, we stopped at the store. I told my husband I would drive the rest of the way up the mountain. Yes, me. Up the mountain that sent me into near fits of panic the first few times we drove it. This time, I was in the driver's seat with everything I love most in the car with me--my family. I was careful. I made it to the top, perhaps a little slower than my husband takes it, but you know what? I actually enjoyed it. Focusing on the safety of my family helped me get to the top without freezing up, foot on brake.

When we arrived at the mountain house, another challenge awaited. We found that one of the children had locked a door that should not be locked. Now we couldn't get in. We tried jimmying the lock with a candy stick to no avail. At the thought of spending the night outside with the bears, I walked around the side of the house to find my husband, six-feet-five, over two hundred pounds trying to climb the lattice to the second story balcony. He was too big. I knew he couldn't fit his feet in those little holes and if he did, the lattice would not hold his weight.

So I did it. With husband and two children watching, I dropped my purse, grabbed onto the lattice...and climbed, no, SCALED the wall. Looked like Spiderman is what they told me. Mama saved the day. Little Mama who's afraid of heights.

Mamas, I've learned, can do anything when the welfare of family is involved. We're having a ball. Can't wait till the next family vacation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back from the Peach State

I just got back from the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta. Wow. To see all those books, products, authors, agents, editors, publishers, musicians together in one place was at times overwhelming. Often inspiring. Always entertaining. My favorite part was meeting fellow authors--people I know only by name and work--and meeting my lovely editor, Rachelle Gardner, finally in person. Just a thrill. Hey, here's something I might never get the chance to do again. Yes, that's me on a Segway wearing a silly blue helmet. (No persons were injured in the shooting of this photo.)

Roadtrips can be good. I found that I was able to do some good "writing in my head" on the drive over and back. And then there was the quiet hotel with no family beckoning every 30 seconds. That was good for writing too. And sometimes you need a little space in order to appreciate fully your life at home.

All in all, it's great to be seen but very good to be home.