Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Are you a party animal? I'm definitely not. I have mentioned here before, I believe, that I hide behind ficus trees at parties. We were invited, however, to attend a party tonight hosted by Mel's employers and the hospital board where he works, so we felt it would behoove us to attend and show our appreciation for their generosity. The closer time came for me to walk into a crowd of strangers and start up a conversation, the sicker I felt. In the first place, Mel had to work today, and knowing he would probably not arrive when the party started, and since I still am not allowed to drive with my post-op shoulder, my mother delivered me to the hospital where Mel was still on duty so I could ride with him to the restaurant. I decided, last minute, to haul a bunch of our books to the dinner. Mel got off work in time to arrive "fashionably late," and we were met by his director and wife. This was an answer to prayers. The books were a hit, too.

I had friends, who know what a weenie I am about things like this, praying for me not to pop a cork. Prayers were answered. Mel's director and his wife are both Christians who do mission trips. We immediately had a conversation going. The bad part came when she told us their son died from diabetes four years ago, and I started crying. They handled it well and I was glad I was wearing glasses--maybe they didn't see? Because when I talk about the death of my stepdaughter, even 24 years later, if someone is the least bit emotional about it, I'm ripped apart all over again, and I don't want to do that to someone else.

I had a whole list of suggestions I'd written down given to me by friends today, and though I left it at home, I remembered the advice. Ask questions and listen. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Gather info for the next book. Listen. Ask questions. Did I say that already? It bears repeating. Everybody appreciates that.

Here's another piece of advice the mother of my stepchildren gave me many years ago, when I was uncomfortable about walking in front of others in a crowded room. She asked me, "What makes you think you're so important that all eyes are on you?" In other words, "Lighten up. People are more self-involved than they are you-involved."

I always knew my shyness had a bit of self-centeredness about it. Wish I could overcome that. Any other suggestions for the next party?
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 2:25 AM  
  Comments (11)
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At 11:18 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'm a social butterfly. :-) That's the worst thing about being a writer-the isolation. Which is probably why email is so vital to me!

Glad it went well!

At 4:02 PM, Blogger jel said...

yup, glad it went good for ya! :)

no suggestions here, your more of a party person then me! ;)

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

In the theatre, what we did was imagine all the audience sitting in their underwear. That always works. ;)

On another note, I lost my dil to cancer at the tender age of 30, so I know how hard it is. I loved her dearly. She was the daughter of my heart. It's been 8 years and I still tear up sometimes.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Imagine everyone sitting in their underwear...I'd have been laughing so hard they'd have thought I was drunk. LOL!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Crystal Laine Miller said...

I can relate to you! Every year my husband's group gives a dinner party/dance (at a country club) for the ER staff. Everyone from hospital administration to cleaning to nurses to corporate attorneys to the cops who provide security are there.

This year we went in clothes that were comfortable(I don't think I've ever had so many compliments,) attitudes of this is for showing appreciation for all of them, and it was even my birthday!!! (ugh)

Well, I have never had such a good time and yeah, I had people praying for us, as my husband's partner died on duty this year and it was going to be difficult for everyone.

I got to know people even more, more people shared with me than ever before and they even sang happy birthday to me (I didn't tell them...ha)

You go, girl! It's all good.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Now when there's movement involved--such as dancing--I'll be there. You don't have to make small talk in the middle of the dance floor.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

Hi Cheryl!!

I am the same when I don't know people or I am around non Christians. That might not be the right way to be but I get very uncomfortable if there is drinking, language, etc. I am much more comfortable around my Christian friends or at church IF I know them.

We are invited to my husband's family for Christmas Eve. I am dreading it as they are not Christians and have not accepted me, even after 20 years. I do want to be with family for Christmas, though, and would not want to be alone.

I, too, am tenderhearted and have empathy with others. I wondered for years why God made me that way but I can relate to others because of the way He made me, when they are having a hard time. Losing a daughter at age 29 (6 years ago) is very hard and I understand why you felt the way you did when hearing of another's loss.

Thanks for relating what the lady said about being so important that people would look at you? I went to the mall for the first time in years and shuffled along with my cane and really needed a wheelchair. I was so embarrassed but you remind me that people are NOT watching me or judging me. Thank you for that.

God gives us our personalities for a reason. For you, it gives you insight for your wonderful books. I can feel what they are going through and relate to the different problems and relationships in each book.

Thanks so much for again, bringing to light something many struggle with!

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:47 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Cheri, I was raised by a Christian mother, and a father whose life was so rough as a boy that he was always a tough nut to crack. Despite my mother's desire to raise me right, I lived in a definitely dysfunctional family. I also attended school one year with children with very low IQs and also very high IQs in an experiment. Because of that, and my family's background, I experienced so many different things--and also because I was a wild teen, I learned to fit in to just about any social situation, except for the wealthy. Our family was not rich. We never went hungry, but my parents were down-home country folk, and I was never taught the more proper social niceties. I learned them in school, but still fall back on my back-woods country upbringing when the pressure gets to me. Fortunately, it passes muster most of the time.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Hi Cheryl!

Sounds like you have a multitude of life lessons to draw on for your books. I think God allows us to go through some of these things so that we can not only relate to others, but grow in our daily lives.

I, too, was raised in a home where we didn't have a lot, but I didn't know the difference. Well, at least until I got to high school and saw the clothes others were wearing, lol. However, my mom made most of my clothes and even scoured Seventeen magazine to see what the styles were.

I was raised in a very strict home, in the Southern Baptist Church. As a result, I am extremely naive - still- and sometimes take things way to serious, to quote my granddaughter. I am so thankful,though, that my mom especially, raised me to love the Lord and walk in His Spirit. I tried to to the same with my children and it is a joy to see my daughter doing the same with her girls.

One thing age does is allow us the wonderful experience of seeing life unfold. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store in the coming months and am looking up and listening for that trumpet call!

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

To be honest. Cheri, I crave that final trumpet call. God's timing is perfect, however, and I know it'll come when it will come. Meanwhile, we just stay in touch with His spirit and let Him lead the way--whatever that may be.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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