October came and went before I even had a chance to
really say hello.  Because October has
long been one of my favorite months, I felt a little sad with its passing… but
then I considered all the good and scary things October brought.


There were, of course, the ghosts and goblins of


We are so blessed to have crazy friends who go all-out on
Halloween night.


There was a pumpkin wagon for carrying gangs of children
around the neighborhood, lots of good food, kooky costumes, and a haunted trail
with a giant black spider falling into our wagon from the dark
branches above, a skeleton that sprang from a makeshift
coffin, and our friend, Jay, wielding a chainless chainsaw and looking about as
threatening as a fun-loving 39-year old dad can.  I love how having kids is our license to
stay goofy.


Dr. Frankenstein– Chief of Pumpkin Surgery

But it turns out that wasn’t the only scary stuff going on
around here.  Recently, I
challenged my G-Force girls to “do something scary”, which I was quick to point
out did not mean anything that might result in bodily harm.  What I wanted them to think about was trying
something they had thought about doing but felt just a little bit afraid
of.  For some of them, these things
included attempting a back handspring, trying out for a play, or
singing a solo at church.  It became part
of their weekly “homework” to think about one thing they wanted to do that
scared them a little and then to do something—any small step—towards that goal.


They say that the best way to learn is to teach, so when I
throw these kinds of challenges out to my girls, I have to think about my own
fears and what I might do to face them.


Biggest fear right now? 
Putting my book out into the world and letting real people read it.  So… this October, I mailed my manuscript to my number one literary agency choice.


And then…


I went to the National Women’s Book Association’sBibliofeast event where I not only met the agent I had submitted the manuscript
to but I also sat next to her at dinner, asked lots of questions, and learned
more than I ever would have sitting at home on my butt reading other people’s

And to think—I had considered not
going since I wouldn’t know many people, and I was AFRAID I might be out of my
element.  Hmmm…


And then….


The Director of the Foothills Arts Council asked me to read
some poetry at the poetry in the garden event, BEAT!  I said yes, and the FEAR promptly set up camp
in my busy, busy brain.  “What were you
thinking?!” it screamed.  “You are not a
poet.”  Despite the fear, however, I
wrote two poems (two that I’m actually pretty proud of) and read them aloud in
front of several friends and even more strangers, and it was FUN! 

Why haven’t I been doing this stuff all


What I learned by venturing into these places where I felt I
might be out of my element is that I was completely IN my element.  What a loss it would have been to have never
found that out.


So as a month of haints and boogers passes into a month of
gratitude and thanksgiving, think about what it is your heart really longs to
do but your mind is just a little bit afraid of. 


And then…




You’ll be so grateful you did.