Have you ever experienced a moment in time when you knew that an ordinary experience would be sure to impact your life forever? Perhaps you have bought a winning lottery ticket, found that you were mentioned in the will of a distant relative, or entered a contest and found yourself the winner?
My moment occurred quite recently as I was scrolling through notifications on my Facebook Author page. I stumbled upon a book by Kathy L. Murphy – the Pulpwood Book Club Queen herself! Her book was offered at a discounted price on Amazon. I had only recently discovered this larger than life personality and immediately clicked on the link and ordered the book. Before I could even move on to the next notification and check the other comments and posts, I received a message from the Queen herself. She informed me that I could not enter the contest drawing until I would forward the receipt for my purchase of her book! I had ordered the book out of curiosity and in a show of support. I had not noticed that the purchase would be an entry into a contest and I explained all of this to Kathy. I did, however, send a copy of the receipt to her e-mail as requested and eagerly began to read the book.
Just a few days later, as I checked my Social Media accounts over morning coffee, I found several notifications that I had been mentioned in posts by various people in my favorite groups. One of them was Kathy L. Murphy, and all of them were congratulatory. I had won the single chance of entrance into her 2019 Girlfriend Getaway weekend in January 2019! The only other event I had ever “won” in my life was a chili competition at my neighborhood clubhouse! I was flabbergasted and honored! After I GOOGLED the event, I also became filled with trepidation – not over my upcoming publication date, but of the Wild West themed weekend that lay before me!
If you are unfamiliar with Kathy L. Murphy and her Pulpwood Book Club Queen events and philosophy, there are plenty of links for you to follow on this page. For those of you who already know about her, and especially for those who know – or are beginning to know – me, you will understand my apprehension. Kathy is a huge personality. I had just finished reading her book and before I even looked at the event schedule I knew I was once again outside of my comfort zone. When I received additional messages from her assuring me that, “You can hang with me until you find yourself a group,” and “Just keep in mind that we encourage lots of pink and leopard prints,” I knew I was facing a challenge equal to or surpassing the publication of a book!
You see, I am anything but flamboyant! The only thing that comes to my mind at the mention of the word Boa is the one dangerous snake I do not have to deal with in the Lowcountry of South Carolina! I have never owned – or even worn a cowboy hat or cowboy boots! Sure, I was excited to meet this incredible woman. However, the three words that immediately came to mind to describe her were “larger than life.” However, my description would be “nondescript school marm.” I was in over my head! Suddenly, even the challenging tasks that remained leading to my final weeks before publication seemed less formidable than spending a weekend with the Pulpwood Queen! What was I to do?
I fell back on my proven way of handling any new, difficult, and frightening situation. I read, asked questions, and sought help!
I obtained as many books as I could by the authors that would be presenting and read them on my recent beach vacation with my best friend. I reached out to anyone on the list of presenting authors that I had even the most casual connection with and asked for insight and guidance. I sought input from those I could connect with who had attended prior conferences. I asked for their perspectives into what I might expect and what might occur over a period of three days with this awesome woman. I asked for help with finding appropriate attire-some borrowed and some purchased-to expand my mundane attire of yoga pants and t-shirts – the go to uniform for each day. My plan was successful! I gained enough clothing and confidence for this plain Jane to feel comfortable in a setting with the glamorous, talented, and artistic. I determined to relax and eagerly anticipate and enjoy the ride! I was on the road to publication as well as to the conference!
It is now only three weeks until my Publication Day and ten weeks until the Conference. I am thrilled about each! An unexpected event triggered both opportunities. My life has been enhanced in ways I would never have imagined. Ordinary-and painful-experiences have moved me beyond my routine thinking, experience, and expectation! I am an author! I have new worlds to explore and new adventures to experience! I am committed to experiencing completely and enjoying thoroughly these – and all others – that come my way.
I hope you will enjoy yours as well! Please share your experiences – and share any suggestions you might have for me about the conference!