A Year Out of My Comfort Zone

At the start of 2018, I decided that I would have, “…a year of adventure. Not just adventure but a year of stepping out of my comfort zone. …instead of talking about my bucket list, I’m going to find a way to make these dreams come true.”

So how’d it go? Deep breath. This year I took flying lessons, went rock climbing–in and out of the gym–, led a college class about my book, introduced myself to a room full of genre writers along with editors and agents, introduced myself to G.R.R.M. and chatted with him, had my first author panel, took dancing lessons, went white-water rafting, faced my fear of cliffs–nightmare–, went to my first book signing, got a tattoo, hiked and camped by my lonesome, and to end the year took a spontaneous road trip, along with outdoor rock climbing.

The year ended a bit off for me. And actually, the rock climbing–which involved a vertical climb that had me hyperventilating–took place on January 1. The reason everything was pushed back? Well, rain for one. And propane for two. My husband accidentally ran over the propane tank in our yard with his truck. It was dark. We had lots of cars parked everywhere. He had to maneuver around them and….You get the picture.

He said there was suddenly a loud, screaming whine and cold. Freezing cold. Propane began to shoot out. Knowing it could explode at any moment, he ran. He cleared the house, got everyone to safety. Including our dogs.

The emergency responder told him, “Two out of three times you’d be dead.” Anyway, it was a big deal. A hundred responders. Hazmat. Fire crews. Police. They cleared the house for reentry around one a.m. The accident happened around seven p.m.

As I told my husband, “I’m so glad our year didn’t end with a bang.” He laughed. There’s a reason we’re married. Sick humor.

So there was a delay of game, but I think the overall challenge was a huge success. It changed the way I looked at the world, at how often I put things off. In fact, while flying the other day one of my instructors asked me if I’d like to try stalling the plane.

On purpose?

My instant reaction was, “No.”

My second reaction was, “Let’s try it.”

He asked me, “Is this one of those facing your fear things?” Yes. Yes it was. Being thousands of feet in the air and stalling my plane on purpose wasn’t on my agenda when I woke up that morning. But, as you know by reading this, it turned out just fine.

So would I recommend this challenge to you? Hell, yes. Do it! Make the commitment. Take the plunge. Announce it to the world. You will not regret it!

In fact, intend to keep trying new things this year. It’s so much fun. The hardest part is breaking routine to do something different. Sometimes it feels like, “I don’t have time to live life to the fullest!”


I guess that’s why I left a lot of these challenges to the last minute. Maybe I should try conquering procrastination this year. Ah, maybe next year.

So last year, I did things that took me out of my comfort zone. But I intend to do more this year. For 2019, I intend to write things that feel dangerous, scary, and way beyond my comfort zone. I intend to write a novel that is the scariest thing I’ve ever attempted. For a million reasons. More on that in February.

This year I’ll also be releasing two books and a novella. The novella, tentatively titled THE SHARP EDGE OF OBSESSION, is due out in April. The first of the two books is due out in September. It’s called THE PRICE OF GRACE. I have one ARC of the book before the series and title change. One. I’ll be running a giveaway for that one precious ARC later this year. Keep posted.

The next book due out, and the third in my Black Ops Confidential series, is titled, THE COST OF HONOR.

I’ll be adding a descriptor for THE COST OF HONOR and a few tantalizing chapters in the next few weeks. I’m so excited to share it! I’m excited to share all of these stories. They are so much fun. Going to be a great year. I dare you, double-dog dare you, to figure out who the bad guy is in each of these stories. Gauntlet thrown, dear reader. Gauntlet thrown.

What are your plans for 2019? Any daring challenges? Whatever they are, I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

4 thoughts on “A Year Out of My Comfort Zone

  1. Sounds like you lived with relish and survived it all! Scary on hubs and the propane tank. Glad that all turned out okay. So, it sky diving on your list? I’ll go with you. I’ve been too cheap, but you come down and we’ll go.

    1. It was scary, but it turned out okay! Yes, in fact, my husband and I were given free skydiving sessions for Christmas! It’s in PA though. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

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