Hey, it’s me, The New Girl! I’ve got on my brand new shoes and slung over my shoulders is my new backpack (baby pink, with rhinestone decorations) and I’m wearing the dress my mom just finished sewing for me yesterday which is a little scratchy and an inch or more too long so there’s room to grow. But…but…I can’t seem to find my classroom, and the halls go on endlessly…
Wait. What? Oh, thank goodness, it’s just that dream I’ve been having every night for the last couple of weeks. I’m done with school! My mom doesn’t make my clothes any more. And the only thing real about that dream is I am the New Girl (er, Goddess). Because joining an established community such as this seems to be a lot like the start of classes at a brand new school.
I’m worried about whether anyone will play with me at recess and if the lunch my mom packed will seem dorky to the other kids and if everyone hates my bangs like I do–in the blogging sense of all those concerns.
Now the metaphorical teacher has called my name and asked The New Girl to introduce herself and so I’m standing up, my knobby knees quaking a little.
I’m Christie Ridgway, and I love to read. I also write books, something I’ve wanted to do since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I write sexy, make-you-laugh-make-you-cry contemporary romances, almost all of them set in California where I’ve lived my entire life. In addition, I pen a monthly column highlighting romances for a review publication you can see at www.BookPage.com (and you can find the print version at your local library). My next books, a back-to-back-to-back trilogy, come out in February-March-April of 2013 from HQN Books. They are set on the sand at a Southern California cove and the first is titled Beach House No. 9.
Whew. With that out of the way, I get to sit down now. I’m pretty sure this is the kind of place where nobody will make fun of me for my love of reading and won’t be bothered as I look out the window and start recalling other first days…
The truth is, I never started a new school. My mom still resides in the house where I lived since I was three years old and the friends I made in kindergarten were by my side at high school graduation. When I went to college, my freshman year I roomed with my best friend from home.
So I think the scariest first day I ever had was when I started my first post-college graduation job…and my car broke down on a freeway overpass. This was before cell phones and through a miscommunication by the Highway Patrol, I was left on the side of the road for four hours, unable to leave my car or let my new employers know I hadn’t changed my mind.
Then there was the first time I went to a dinner thrown by my new publisher at an RWA conference. I only knew one person, so I was sticking close to her as we made our way there. At one point we had to get in an elevator and I stepped forward–just as the doors closed on my friend. I was without my security blanket! Heading to a party where I didn’t know anyone and wanted to impress everyone! Terrified, I followed the others out of the elevator car, quivering like a lost lamb. Next thing I knew I was in the middle of a cocktail party. Someone handed me champagne. Not until I got up my nerve and introduced myself to someone (a Big Name Author I probably should have recognized by sight) did I realize I had gotten off on the wrong floor and was at the wrong publisher’s big to-do. Yes, you can call The New Girl Christie the Party Crasher.
Tell me about one of your memorable first days! Were you ever an anxious New Girl? I’ll randomly select two commenters to win a free Christie Ridgway book.