Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stranger Party Tour of 2015

I'm excited to provide a tentative list of locations and events for the next leg of The 52/52 Project journey: The Stranger Party Tour of 2015 (beginning in November 2014). A few locations are yet undetermined, and several dates are pending--so be sure to subscribe to this blog by email and follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/The52at52Project

Hoping to meet up with several of you for fun, adventure, and the always amazing experience of meeting new friends:

1) November 10 and 11—Orlando: Be sure to wear your elastic-waist pants as we eat and drink our way through every country around the world at Epcot. The next evening, we’ll burn off all those calories through nonstop laughter while playing Drag Queen Bingo: http://hamburgermarys.com/orlando/

2) December 6—Milwaukee: Come on, Get Happy, as we rent the Partridge Family party-bus for a pub crawl and sightseeing through Milwacky, Wisconsin! Along the way we’ll test our worthless knowledge with Silly Sitcom Trivia. Among the highlights is certain to be the requirement for each passenger to sing a TV show theme song at one of our stops. Just $25 to reserve your seat on the bus, with reservation information coming soon: http://partridgefamilypartybus.com/

3) January—Pending

4) February—Pending

5) March (Date TBD)—Austin: Now’s your chance to finally get over those pesky personal fears like acrophobia, claustrophobia, nyctophobia, and entomophobia, as we master the messy art of cave spelunking: http://www.cloud9living.com/austin/wild-cave-spelunking

6) April—Boston (Date TBD): Nothing here but old-fashioned fun in a slightly crazy new way, while we take part in an outdoor group scavenger hunt. The only caveat: If you’re on my team, be prepared to meet a brutal taskmaster. We’ll win this thing, or else: http://www.watsonadventures.com/public/location/boston/

7) May (Dates TBD)—Denver area: Join me for a night of séances and ghost-hunting at the haunted Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King penned The Shining. The next day, any survivors (or those who choose to forgo the ghost-hunt) will grasp hands and grimace our way across the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest freaking bridge in the U.S.: https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=royal+gorge+bridge+colorado+walking&ei=UTF-8&fr=chr-greentree_ff&ilc=12&type=903578

8) June (Date TBD)—Cincinnati/Newport: If you’ve had a lifelong burning desire to roll around inside a human-sized hamster ball, here is your opportunity. Yes, apparently this is a thing. Barf bags not included: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BpHJckNZns

9) July (Date TBD)—Toledo: Join me on the mighty Maumee River while we compete in the Partners in Education’s famously fun Dragon Boat Festival. Be prepared to show off your teamwork skills and your muscles. Word is, you’ll need to make up for a huge slacker in the boat.

10) August 13-16—Southern Ohio: We’ll join the fabulous Brittany Gibbons and a cabinful of friends we haven’t yet met, at Camp Throwback. Relive your best childhood experiences with traditional camp activities like archery or arts and crafts—updated for adult fun by drinking margaritas around the firepit. Tickets are on sale NOW: http://www.campthrowback.com/

11) September 19—Southern Indiana: No obstacle too great for those of us taking part in The Stranger Party Tour of 2015! Unless we’re competing in a Rugged Maniac Race. And then, all bets are off: http://www.ruggedmaniac.com/events/southern-indiana/

12) Pending

More details coming, so stay tuned. And please share with your friends. Hoping to meet up with many of you on the Stranger Party Tour of 2015!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baring It at The Huffington Post

One of The 52/52 Project's most, uh, revealing stories was just published over at The Huffington Post. Hope you'll click over and check it out here!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Breaking News

I am excited to announce that I have signed with a wonderful literary agent, Renee Fountain of GH Literary, for The 52/52 Project.

Thanks to all you wonderful readers who have been so supportive. You have given me the enthusiasm and confidence to pursue making this book a reality. One of this project's greatest appeal for prospective publishers is sure to be your terrific interaction and comments on this blog and on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/The52at52Project.
If you haven't already, please click through and "like" that Facebook page and also subscribe to this blog by email (link to the right on the page), so I can share future news.
I will provide more book news as it comes, as well as updates on our new monthly adventures for the coming year. I hope many of you can join me to participate in that fun!

Now, fingers crossed she sells this baby. I need to buy a new pair of pajamas.

Are you crossing those fingers? Have you "liked' my Facebook page and subscribed to this blog by email? If not, can I offer to stop by and wash your dishes and clean your toilets this weekend?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coming Soon, to a Town Near Me...

I'm happy to announce I am presenting at the 14th annual Winter Wheat Festival, a celebration of writers and readers, to be held Nov. 13-15 at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Produced by the literary journal "Mid-American Review," the festival includes appearances by authors Sharona Muir, Anne Valente, Marcus Wicker, and Allison Joseph. In addition, participants can attend their choices of 54 diverse and interesting writing workshops.

On Saturday morning, Nov. 15, I will lead a session on "Enhancing Your Narrative Non-Fiction through an Anti-Bucket List." I hope several of you will join me, because you know I hate talking to myself.

Winter Wheat is a terrific event for writers seeking to sharpen their skills and aspiring writers looking for a great place to start. For more information about the festival's events and registration, click here: 


Friday, September 12, 2014

All Right, Mr. DeMille, I'm (Not) Ready for My Close-Up

I endured another photo shoot last night. *sigh* Having my photo taken ranks on my list of favorite things to do just above--or maybe even below--having a root canal.

I went through my first author photo shoot about a year ago, so you'd think it would get easier. But all day I kept thinking I'd gladly swap this out for almost ANYTHING on my 52/52 list. And that list, as many of you know, was a bit squirm-worthy.

This got me thinking about experiences we each have to face occasionally or on a regular basis. Dental work, public speaking, and flying are the three that have always made my anxiety soar the highest. I continue to endure them all, out of necessity, but if I had to choose between one of those and, say, another Brazilian wax? A close race, but I'm fairly certain I'd choose the wax job. And I'd take that waxing over having my photo taken, any day.

So, your turn. What activity or experience do you dread or despise most of all? I'll do a random drawing for a copy of Fifty Shades of Funny: Hook-Ups, Break-Ups, and Crack-Ups from the comments of readers who fess up.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ready for New Adventures--In Your Part of the World

While I'm busy working on the book edition of The 52/52 Project, I am ready to share some fun news about the next year.

I recently posted a Facebook poll to find out where pockets of my readers reside. Here's why:

Over the next year, beginning either in October when I turn 53 or in January at the start of 2015, I will undertake one new venture each month in locations throughout the U.S. (or beyond, if I can swing it). Readers and their friends in those areas are invited to join me in each experience. Like my Stranger Party that so many of you said you vicariously enjoyed, we yet-to-meet friends will also get together for dinner and drinks before or after our escapades.

I am so psyched about this! What a fun opportunity for me to perpetuate my 52/52 Project journey while allowing several of you to join in! I look forward to meeting many of you and to cringing, crying, or laughing our way together through a new experience.

Based on my poll results, plus time and expenses, several will likely be in the Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, or Wisconsin. I'm also eying Florida (especially Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa or Orlando), Texas (perhaps Austin or Dallas/Fort Worth), and California (maybe San Diego or San Francisco).

But locations are really still up for grabs. The selling point is what cool or crazy experiences we can pinpoint in a specific city or area.

I'm ready to start planning. Are you ready to join up? Let's hear your ideas. What exciting, enlightening, or frightening ventures await us in your part of the world? Lay it on us....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

From One Adventure to the Next

Thanks to all you wonderful folks who came out to the Way Public Library in Perrysburg this week to hear me speak about The 52/52 Project. I had a terrific time meeting so many of you! 

Standing-room only? Who'd have thunk? Clearly it was a slow night for television...

Next time, I promise to sport the pajamas and curlers.

Hope you'll all subscribe by email to this blog for news of my upcoming book. 

Thanks to everyone for following along with The 52/52 Project. Information about next year's adventures is soon to come.

Don't go away yet: Promise me you're still here?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Did What?

Someone recently asked if I could provide my list of experiences for The 52/52 Project. I realized it changed quite a bit since I posted it months back, so here is the full and final list (last item still pending). I smiled as I recalled some of these, and sighed deeply after I typed a couple:

1. Taking Belly Dancing Lessons
2. Competing in a Pizza Eating Contest
3. Watching a Peep Show and Conducting “Research” at an Adult Bookstore
4. Attending Services at Three Churches or Temples of Unfamiliar Religions
5. Enduring a Week without Caffeine
6. Auditioning for “Survivor”
7. Eating Insects
8. Having a Professional Shoot for My First Author Photo
9. Being Hypnotized for Past-Life Regression
10. Having a Brazilian Wax
11. Going Camping Alone
12. Getting an Extreme Haircut
13. Crashing a Wedding Reception
14. Taking a Homeless Person to Lunch
15. Online Dating
16. Going Vegan for a Week
17. Going on a Police Ridealong and a Raid with the SWAT Team
18. Taking Professional Voice Lessons
19. Appearing as a College Mascot
20. Shooting at a Range with a Gun Dealer
21. Spending the Night in a Convent
22. Volunteering at a Nursing Home
23. Zip-lining
24. Undergoing a Colonoscopy
25. Performing in Public as a Mime
26. Going au Naturel at a Nude Beach
27. Dark Dining
28. Singing on Stage with a Band
29. Bell-Ringing for the Salvation Army
30. Going Totally Unplugged for a Week
31. Taking a Polar Bear Dip on New Year’s Day
32. Tackling My First Major Home Improvement Project
33. Doing a Radio Show
34. Being Zoo-Keeper for a Day
35. Taking a Road Trip with My Ex Husband (and Another with His Girlfriend)
36. Staying Up All Night to Watch Horror Flicks Alone
37. Hosting a Party for All Strangers
38. Floating in an Isolation (Sensory Deprivation) Tank
39. Spending the Day in Public in Pajamas, Slippers, and Curlers
40. Babysitting Quadruplets
41. Taking the First Available Flight Out—Wherever It Was Headed
42. Bartending on St. Patrick’s Day
43. Attempting a High Ropes Course
44. Attending a Frat Party
45. Driving a Segway
46. Giving the Keynote Speech at My Alma Mater’s Academic Banquet
47. Running a 5K
48. Ghost Hunting with TV Professionals
49. Riding Shotgun in a Race Car
50. Bee-Keeping
51. Undertaking a Week of “Speed-Dating”
52. Going on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

So, out of curiosity, which of these would you a) most like to do, and b) be most likely to say "Hell, NO" to?