I owe a debt of gratitude to fellow author and Rave Reviews Book Club member, Gwendolyn M Plano, for hosting Part 1 of this story on her lovely blog. Please click on My Journey… My Way, Part 1 to go to her site. While you’re there, check out her marvellous book, Letting Go Into Perfect Love!
I felt very comfortable asking questions about how to support other authors, and how best to use Twitter. Both Nonnie Jules and Marlena Hand were kind and generous with their answers. By mid-August I was volunteering to host members who were on blog tours with the Club and with Nonnie’s company, 4WillsPublishing. I knew next to nothing about blog tours, and even less about hosting a blogger on my site. I had to learn in a hurry. I made mistakes with the first one, but no one chastised me or made me feel foolish. I learned and continued to volunteer. Soon I was hosting at least once a week!
Late in September I was offered a Spotlight Author seat, which is the most prestigious promotional seat in the RRBC house! The next week, I was invited to join the VIP Lounge. All of this recognition was unexpected and I found myself scratching my head wondering why. By the end of October I received an email from Nonnie asking if I would be interested in serving on the Board of Governors! You can imagine why that really blew me away! I agreed to take on the job of Membership & Incentives Director. As I met with club secretary, Marlena Hand in a chat room to discuss my duties, I was in full-blown panic mode. I had avoided administrative positions in education for three decades and now I had become a club administrator! I had to be certifiable!
I confessed my fears and doubts, but Nonnie and Marlena weren’t swayed. They took me by the hand and walked me through the job, gave me direction, and never lost patience when I made mistakes. Soon, the panic went away and I found myself having fun! Nonnie saw something in me that she wanted to cultivate… my desire to serve. Every time she asked board members to help with some task, I volunteered. As I took on more and more jobs I felt like I was on my first roller coaster ride, scared to death and excited beyond words. I was afraid of failing and letting Nonnie and the board down. I was putting in a lot of hours but I didn’t mind because I loved the work.
In January, Nonnie came down with a bad case of the flu and needed someone to be her acting-President. I told her I’d do it, but I had no clue what to do. She prepared a set of detailed instructions… my goodness!!! I was being challenged and stretched at every turn, but I was learning! Miraculously, the Good Ship RRBC did not sink and I became Nonnie’s acting-President whenever it was necessary. Whoever said that old dogs can’t learn new tricks was likely a very pitiable fellow, and I did not want to become that guy!
In April, Nonnie was hard at work setting up the club’s newest and most ambitious initiative yet to further the mission, her mission, of supporting club members. This new adventure was Rave Waves BlogTalkRadio. I knew nothing about that, so I ducked down and lay low hoping no one would ask me to get involved. Guess what? There’s no hiding from Nonnie Jules! By the end of April I volunteered to host three shows each month and then I told Nonnie I’d try my hand at producing all the shows because she needed someone to be the Producer. Boy! What a learning curve that was! The Rave Waves staff worked hard to get the full slate of shows up and running by the first of May. I was running in six directions at once trying to learn my roles of show host and Producer and assist our other show hosts. It was exciting. It was exhilarating. It was exhausting! But I couldn’t be happier.
In June, our Vice President Bruce A. Borders retired from the Board. I remember feeling shocked when I got the news. Bruce was one of the original founders of the club and had worked hard to help build it into the great international organization that it was when I joined. The next thing I know, I was asked to assume that role too. I hesitated. After all… second-in-command? Could I do this? Nonnie was sure that I could. So, I accepted and donned a fourth hat on the Board.
One morning soon after, I woke up, trudged into the bathroom and beheld my image in the mirror. I shook my head, stared at the face there and said, “Are you outa your mind??” Then I laughed – a long, loud belly-laugh. “You bet!” I replied. “I’m having the time of my life!” And I am.
I spend twelve to fifteen hours a day having fun working on Membership tasks, researching and scripting my three BlogTalkRadio shows, supervising my Rave Waves hosts, meeting with board team and Rave Waves team members by phone and chat room and writing my own blogs. The time flies! I struggle to find time to write and publish my own books.
A year ago I was a lethargic, bored, retired teacher in his sixties trying to figure out how to market books. Now I feel energized and on a mission that means something! My life journey has taken an exciting turn and I feel very blessed. Now I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner! I’m not going to sit around sipping martinis waiting for the end of my life. I have stuff to do!! Either work with me or clear out of my way, because this train is on the move!
What has Rave Reviews Book Club done for me? This wonderful literary community gave my life back, and made me feel young and excited to get up every morning. I’m learning new skills, meeting new people and doing work that is making a difference to members in many countries around the world. You can’t buy perks like that!