Friday, June 20, 2008

Catching Up

I vowed to start a blog this year, and now that we are almost at the halfway mark, I finally am. But the late start has left me with some catching up to do.

I am naming my blog "Year Without Fear." Here's the story:
In January '07, my better half had what I thought was a stroke or a heart attack at a friend's birthday party. Ends up it was only a fainting spell, but, despite a thousand medical tests telling us nothing was wrong, I held on to the fear of loss through the rest of the year. Not a good feeling to hold onto, I realized, as I spent The Eve of 2008 with friends in Hawaii reflecting on the previous year.

So on January 1st I declared 2008 would be my "year without fear." I decided to do what any rational, sane guy would do who felt the need to conquer his fear: I jumped off a cliff. I had seen a someone do it the day before and had commented that the guy was crazy. A fearless woman on the beach assured me that it was perfectly safe - "as long as you jump out far enough to clear the rocks at the bottom."

As I looked over the 50 foot cliff (or maybe it was forty feet and I was standing on top of 5 feet of fear and 5 feet of ego), I had a conversation with The Partner that went like this:
Me - "Is this foolish? Am I crazy? Am I going to going to end up on America's Stupidest Testosterone-Driven Videos?"
The Partner - "No. Yes. Maybe."

But I did it anyway and here's the proof:

I have to say that the drop was long enough for me to think "What the hell have I done?" And I came up happy to be alive, exhilarated, with NO wish to do it again. I also landed slightly on my bum and couldn't sit comfortably for 2 or 3 days.

Oh..and all fear was gone. Replaced, I suppose, by adrenalin.


Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jim! Welcome to blogging. That video is great. I don't think I've ever jumped off anything that high without a bungee cable attached to me (and that was just once) but it looks like fun. Hope the rest of the year without fear is going well too :-)

I'm trying to remember where I saw your book most recently -- I think it was on 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast? Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Jim is blogging! I can't tell you how excited I am about this. And what a great first post. I had no idea you two had such a scare last year! I would have been mired in thoughts of loss too.

I hold a secret wish that some day I'll be brave enough to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and kiss all my fears goodbye. I doubt I will ever act upon it though.

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Unknown said...

Jim, how do I know the crazy dot in jumping off the cliff is you? And now Photoshop can do lot of tricks…hmmm. Ok, I believe you because I have seen you, and you are going fierce this year!
By the way, love your profile picture with the Mexican siblinghood traveling hat.

Lynn E. Hazen said...

Dear Blogger Jim,
You don't have to jump off again-- just play with the nifty slider bar, up down splash, up down splash!

So what's your next post about?
Maybe a convenient list of links of all your recent interviews in the Blogoshere?

Are you sensing an assignment to make you do post #2?

Anonymous said...

Okay, Jim, you're insane! But in a good way. :) Glad you're blogging!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Jim is blogging! Hurray!

Now you just have to jump off crazy objects every week (refrigerators, moving trucks, treehouses) and you'll have a HUGE following...

Glad to know you're both safe and well. And remember - we're writers. We're supposed to have our CHARACTERS do the truly insane stuff, right?

Having said that, I'm proud of you - the idea of freeing yourself from fear is a great focus!

It reminds me of that quote "what would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?"

Welcome to the fun!



Anonymous said...

This reminds me (okay, in a to-the-nth-degree way) of the time when I, as a child, decided to dive (not jump) off the high dive at the pool. I walked past where my mom was sitting, made her PROMISE to stop reading until she saw what I was about to do), then climbed up, bent over, and did it.

Unfortunately, I dove the way I dive off the edge of the pool--hands over my head to start, but then the hands come apart and split the water (or, in this case, the air) as I go through.

Which meant I hit the water, from ten feet up, head first. With a quite snug bathing cap on (with a pixie cut, I had to wear one, but long-haired boys didn't--okay, different story!).

Anyway, yes, I felt fantastic and proud and certain that one time was plenty.

Glad to see you blogging, Jim!

Christy/Tiddly Inks Digitals said...

Congrats on the blogging and the cliff-diving! In my 20s, I too jumped off a 60-ft cliff...but I didn't clear it!!! I stopped at the edge and the only thing that saved me was the absolute sheerness of the rocks (and that I too young and stupid to know I should have died)!!! There was a whole involved hospital visit, but I survived with only a few stitches on my head and now I look at it as a metaphor for my life....stopping on the edge of anything will kill you...oh, and you need a very thick skull!!!! :D

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you at the SCBWI conference and I wish you continued success (I have to add that your illustrations are gorgeous).

Keep jumping out all the least off the literary cliff! :)