Friday, May 07, 2010

No More Playing It Safe


This sounds like a direct contradiction to my post yesterday, but sometimes you just gotta let the hide go with the hair. (Now what does that expression mean, and where'd it come from?)

I've taken plenty of risks in my time, risks that for the most part have paid off. They were all calculated risks (I'm a natural born plotter of life as well as books, as you may have guessed.) But to the outside world, it looked as though I'd taken leave of my senses.

Let's see. There was the time I decided that I would stencil a border on my pale buttercup yellow walls with dark blue oil stencil paint, though I'd never stenciled so much as a label in my life. My mama nearly had a heart attack. But it turned out beautifully. (I'd watched a This Old House Episode.)

There was the time I took a job with a $5K pay increase, when I had no clue what on earth I'd be doing. But it sounded fun.

There was the time I decided to go round the world to adopt The Kiddo. People kept asking me, "Why don't you get an AMERICAN baby?" I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful blessing of a daughter, a true gift from God.

There was the time I told that editor, "Sure, I can revise this book and change everything from Chapter Three on and have it to you by October." (It was late May.) It wound up being the first book I ever sold.

But even with those risk-taking propensities, I still find myself playing it safe. I'd been following the news of Nashville. I'd heard the call for writers to donate their time and expertise. I kept thinking, "Who'd want to bid on anything from me?"

Then The Husband texted me that the Grand Ol' Opry was six feet under water and that 19 people had lost their lives. It showed me what a cowardly yellow-belly I was being.

I've sent up some smoke signals to the Do The Write Thing organizers, indicating my willingness to donate a critique partial and maybe, a la Michelle Wolfson, a 30 minute phone conversation. Don't know if they still need it, don't know if they even want it, but I'm in.

And I'm praying for both Nashville and those folks who will be suffering because of the oil spill in the Gulf.

20 comments:

Michele Emrath said...

No reason to play it safe when so few people are really safe.

Thanks for your donations of love. And thanks for joining Southern City Mysteries.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Aww, you've made some great non-safe moves. Especially adopting your daughter. LOVE stories like that.

That Nashville writers auction is such an awesome idea. I hope they take you up on your offer. I'm sure lots of people would love to learn from your expertise and experience.

Paul C said...

This is an encouraging pep talk about taking risks and finding personal growth. Thanks.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Thanks for stopping by today!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Great post! I've lived through a flood. Scary. Those people are in my prayers.

Jen Chandler said...

I love that you adopted a baby from overseas. My husband and I talk about it often. We get asked the same question...

Thank you for this post. I've been playing it safe for far too long. Of course, in the end, playing it safe only means lack of life luster.

Best of luck in the donating of time and talent to Nashville! Good for you!

Cheers, Happy Mom's Day and Happy weekend,
Jen

Lola Sharp said...

I know, the oil slick is KILLING ME...with anger, and deep sadness.

And the Tennessee flood just makes me weep. We donated to the Amer. Red. Cross earmarked for the flooding in Tenn., but I feel helpless, and sad.

Happy Mother's Day, and weekend!
Love,
Lola

Cynthia Reese said...

Michele, good reminder about why we shouldn't play it safe! And I thought your best-seller post was absolutely hilarious! I RT'd it ... it's worth it!

Karen, best thing in my life that I ever did was take the trip to China. Love that little girl!

Thanks, Paul! I hope someone can get encouragement out of me confessing to be such a coward!

Thanks, Caroline, for having such an interesting blog!

Kathi, I know folks who have been flooded, and they say it is so devastating ... once those murky flood waters touch something, it's almost always gone. Floods and fire -- my two worst fears.

Jen, if you go ahead and adopt, especially a child of another race, get ready for ANOTHER question: "So, er, she's, with, er, YOU?"

Yay for you, Lola! Let's not forget what great deeds the Red Cross does! Don't feel helpless ... you have done something, and that's more than many folks ever do.

Linda G. said...

Congratulations on taking the right kind of risks. No wonder they're all paying off so beautifully. :)

Lickety Splitter said...

Well roll on with your brave self ;) How about painting the town red? Have you done that a few times? Hmmm...wherever did that saying "paint the town red" come from? Of all my days in the south (and yes, I mean all of my days) I have never heard the expression "gotta let the hide go with the hair."

Tennessee and the Gulf are in my prayers. The Gulf of Mexico is one of my true loves :(

Toby Speed said...

Good for you, Cynthia. What a generous offer. And happy Mother's Day!

Cynthia Reese said...

See, Linda? I can be a wild child sometimes!

Lickety Splitter, c'mon. It can't be a family thing, can it? Maybe it's a Georgia thing?

Toby, YOU have a great Mother's Day, too ... and thanks!

Angie Paxton said...

All those other risks paid off, some of them in life altering ways. I'm sure your donation will also and if not it was done from the heart and that's all that matters. Good for you!

Julie Musil said...

What an amazing thing to do, Cynthia. I'm praying for those folks.

I have a little something for you over at my blog.

Have a Happy Mother's Day with The Kiddo!

DeeDee1Whoa said...

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BillRicksofSoperton said...

I'd always heard it as 'hair go with the hide," but the other seems more logical. As I thought, it's Cracker Talk from the old country - Scotland, Ireland, and any English person with a dab of humility. Either way it saves the pelt whole. Cowhide chair bottoms that I saw still had some hair. Hog killings involved scalding and removing the hair.

Don't you just hate it when someone spends more time on trivia than the real subject.

I'm wondering when I will get a letter from Red Cross about helping Nashville.

Cynthia Reese said...

Angie, they DID pay off, didn't they!

Julie, ooooh, can't wait to see what it is! Have been shamefully short of time to enjoy all my favorite blogs this week. And thanks for the warm wishes for Mother's Day.

Dee Dee, you can never have too many bloggy friends, can you? Thanks for stopping by.

Bill, I'm always backwards, aren't I? Guess I'm a cracker after all. I'm an English/German mutt, but hopefully I'm humble! And that was pretty interesting. See? This is the reason I can't use the Oxford English Dictionary, because I'd never surface from all the lovely info about when words were first used.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Good for you. Very cool.

At least with natural disasters, we know there is hope and rebuilding and a brighter tomorrow. With what is going on in the gulf, there is nothing but despair and ruin. It will never be the same.

Susan Fields said...

What wonderful donations, and what an awesome thing to do!

I love the cat picture, they look just like my little Peanut kitty.

SAMUEL PARK said...

Fantastic post. Love hearing the brave choices you made! And how well you were rewarded for them. A wonderful thing to think about--not playing it safe, taking chances, and realizing we have so much more to offer than we think. Thanks for this!