Wednesday, December 31, 2008


In case all y'all didn't know, I live may lives. One of those lives is a children's writer. It's wonderful and creative and mostly inhabited by women. BUT one of my dear friends is Mr. Jim Averbeck. 
About a year ago Jim and I travelled together to a conference and as we rolled merrily along we disclosed things to each other about ourselves. One story he told has stayed with me, it is the story of his Year With No Fear.
About a year before,his partner of several years had had a very scary incedent and Jim began to fear everything. He didn't leave the apartment, he didn't accept invitations to anything. His artwork suffered, his writing suffered. He was in short- unhappy. 
Then he and his partner went to some wonderful warm place and in an inspired moment he had an epiphany. He was tired of feeling depressed and sad, always waiting for another shoe to drop, another crisis to avert. He decided that the New Year would be for him The Year of No Fear. And to celebrate this he and his partner jumped off of a cliff-literally! A 60 foot cliff!
And they didn't die! 
And so began his YWNF. He began his art projects anew, he rewrote and submitted a long held manuscript "In a Blue Room". He reconnected with his friends, his allies and himself. He told me it wasn't always easy, but after jumping off of a cliff what else could be so scary?
The happy result of his Year is this book- "In A Blue Room"
Illustrations are by Tricia Tusa. This charming book is nominated for many awards this year, and has a starred review in the Publishers Weekly. (No mean feat- let me assure you!). 
So after Jim's story I have reminded myself many times to live my Year with No Fear. I advocate it to all of you too! That doesn't mean you have to jump off a cliff ( eegads!) But I want you all to do something different- something that you are afraid of doing because it is out of your comfort zone. I want you to take the literal leap of faith that I know you are all capable of!
I want you to ride bareback, or rescue a horse, or walk ten miles for a cause. I want you to join a theatre group, or enter a horse show or stand  up at a City meeting and give your opinion about something you believe in. 
Make 2009 the Best Year of your lives!
I dare ya!