The Good Girl’s Guide to Adventure


My friend and I jokingly describe each other as “Born to be Mild.” She rides motorcycles. And I? Well, I don’t do much of anything too “out there,” but I’m game for just about anything–just about.

I have a long list of books I hope to write, but I’ve reserved the title of this blog for a future book, titled, of course, The Good Girl’s Guide to Adventure.

I know the real rebels laugh at me. I’m not quite a Thelma or a Louis, but I’d make a pretty good Lucy or Ethel. Go ahead, you “normal” people. Laugh or roll your eyes, but you might consider loosening up a little bit. I’m not running with Hell’s Angels. But even the Wild Hogs yearn for adventure.

Me too! Me too!  As long as I’m home by eight.

Seriously though, I’ve had my fair share of “adventure,” mild though it may be. Check it out:

  • I’ve met and mingled with oodles of celebrities and gawked with the best of you. I haven’t been arrested once for stalking, but I’m not dead yet.
  • You know those crime-drama shows where the cops come to a screeching stop, block the get-away car with their own vehicles, pull their guns, and order the perpetrators to spread ’em to be frisked? Intense, right? Well, baby, I’ve been in the get away car–only I wasn’t trying to get away. I was simply leaving a pizza joint and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s what happens when you get caught in the middle of a drug sting and are pegged as the pick up. Not!
  • And then there was the time I wandered down to a riverside festival  in Memphis to try out my new camera. Memphis. Expensive camera. Alone. The dark. A riverside festival. Mix all these ingredients, and you should have disaster, but I walked away smiles and grins from felons. I was too stupid to know that I was asking members of the Outlaws to pose. At least they were nice about it. And they didn’t kill me.
  • I like bikers! My first real motorcycle ride was on the back of an Indian motorcycle that belonged to a biker dude I met when I spent part of a summer in Colorado. Okay, okay. Maybe the guy wasn’t in a biker gang. Maybe it was more like a club, kind of like a chess club with leather jackets and Bibles. But I really did think I was going to die as I clung to the back of a total stranger going 70 mph on the open road.
  • Then there was the time I ran away with a cowboy. Well, maybe I didn’t really run away, but I jumped in his Chevy van and took off. Never saw him before in my life. Okay, maybe we didn’t run away. Maybe I exaggerated a bit. Maybe we just drove to the Jiffy Burger. Thank goodness for me (or my mama would’ve killed me), he turned out to be the perfect gentleman and became a good friend. At least I didn’t lie about the cowboy part. He really was a bull rider from Oklahoma.
  • And finally, there was the night I was chased by ax murders in the middle of a cow pasture in rural Rutherford County. No embellishment of the facts. Every bit is true, but I’ll save that story for another time.

The point is I think I have something inside of me that most people don’t have. It’s a spark or a sparkle. It’s that thing kids have right before they realize they’re too old to play make believe. It’s a sense of adventure.

I’ve got it! And because I’ve got it, I think my imagination can craft stories that young people want to hear. My kids at school listen. They always want me to tell one more

I just wish I could convince editors and agents that I’ve got that “thing” they’re looking for. Why is it the editors and agents have to be the picky ones?

I wish I could walk into a conference and say, “Hey, here I am, everything you’ve ever been looking for. You better not pass me by. Somewhere in this publishing world, the right agent and editor are going to find me. You’ll be sorry you were afraid to take a chance.”

But it doesn’t work like that. Right, fellow writers?

We go bonkers practicing our elevator pitches. We fight to sit by our favorite agent or editor at the conference luncheons. We write query letters that are highly likely to hear the clunk of a virtual trash can.

Oh, it’s a hard life, the life of a wannabe writer.

But, when all is said and done, I’m just going to pray and allow God to orchestrate his will. Paths cross for a reason–divine appointments, they’re called. What is supposed to be will be.

I can honestly say I like who I am. If anything, I’m unpredictable. And living inside my own head is a rollercoaster ride with its ups and downs.

I guess I’ll have to wait to see how the story ends.

Let’s keep it G-rated. Help me write my Good Girl’s Guide to Adventure. What’s the first rule you would add?

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~  Helen Keller

Come on get ready for the ride of your life / Gonna leave long-faced religion in a cloud of dust behind / And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored / This what we were created for ~ Steven Curtis Chapman, “The Great Adventure”



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26 thoughts on “The Good Girl’s Guide to Adventure

    • Life is an adventure. I have had the honor and pleasure of hearing some of yours Keep your chin up. There is much more life yet to be written. 🙂 You inspire me!

  1. Rule #1 DO NOT go house and car rolling with your journalism teacher. There is a chance you might get caught! Although I di participate in this act of vandalism with my favorite journalism teacher of all time one crazy fall evening, the best part was when we got back to her house and found her own car and yard rolled. :):):):) Although we were breaking the law, this is by far one of my fondest memories of good, clean fun in my high school years! As always, you inspire me! I love reading about your zany adventures, and I can totally relate to the stalking. I once got thrown out of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for stalking Tom Hanks! :):):):) ❤ much love!!!

    • Very good, grasshopper. Tom Hanks. Cool. Lol. (Just kidding, Tom Hanks. Bad girl. Bad girl. But what you gonna do?) I hope you inspire your students to have a spirit of adventure.

      • I totally stalked him for the entire week I was in Los Angeles. I went to his favorite place to eat, sat at his table, laid down on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and stroked his star, went to a premiere I knew he would be at (That was when the Men in Black threw me out), and I tried to get to his house in Malibu Colony. By the way, Malibu Colony has a guard shack with armed guards. NOT recommended! It was a fun trip, and I did get sprayed by Ozzy Osbourne’s hose. I’ll have to show you the pictures when I come visit! My goal is to inspire my students to believe anything is possible, and of course to have some adventure along the way. If I am lucky, maybe I’ll get to be a journalism advisor myself! ❤

      • You would make a lovely, inspirational, FUN journalism adviser. Life is truly an adventure. I FORGOT my own advice. I’m trying to get back on track now. A part of you dies when you aren’t doing what you are supposed to be doing. I don’t mean to sound cliché, but LIVE THE ADVENTURE.

  2. I would say that my first rule would be to omit the ‘G-Rated’ part. Tee, life is not G-rated. Heck, kids know more things than I do these days. Well, maybe not, but that’s an expression that people say right? No, no, no I am just giving you a hard time. Adventure? Asking me for help with adventure is like asking a drug addict to come and get one more fix. Once I take that literary plunge, I will be calling my dealer for more “adventures”…..I labsolute;y love the fact that you are attempting to tell your kids adventures. I will NEVER forget the adventure of Bear Creelk Church and the video camera incident from Junior Year. Nor will I forget your amazing teaching methods. You got it right with that group, and I have Peter-Pan syndrome due to it! (Well, due to lots of things), but you know…….

    As cliche as it sounds, adventure comes when you least expect it. Sometimes I will take my sisters and brother driving around and never know where we are going to end up. We like to call it ‘Ratchet Hunting”, a term they introduced me to. (G-Rated, I know, I know). We drive as far as we can and find the scariest corners of our little town.

    I definitely won’t be taking them to Memphis anytime soon.

    Although I didn’t provide you with a concrete rule, perhaps I somehow imspired you to think of SOME rule or phrase or idea that you wouldn’t have before? Here’s to hoping.

    Before I close, I have to tell you that what you said about the Wannabe Writer is really really really REALLY sticking out and yelling at me right meow. Yes, meow. That inner voice, I totally get it. Spent years hushing it with substances and booze and anything that would make it go away. Because I knew that I would never BE a writer. And i knew it’s all that could make me happy. Make me feel. Make me whole again.

    I’m finally realizing that I AM A WRITER! I am “blogging” (why do I always feel like blogging is a derogatory term?) and if just one (okay, 20) people read it and love it, then I am cool.

    Maybe. Some days. anyway.

    I have to go work with some kiddos. I wish I could have them to myself and make them just write. Unfortuantely, college st ESP doesn’t fit that bit into their curriculum. Lol. Love yoU!

    • Blogging is WONDERFUL. Heck, yeah, you are a WRITER. (Note: ALL CAPS.) I remember you telling me about the Bear Creek adventure, and it has inspired me to go there. I even hope to self publish a book about local mysterious sites. I am intentionally thinking self publishing because I want it to have the local appeal. I found some of the BEST reading material in Salem, MA, and it was all locally published. I will never self publish my fiction. (Well, never say never, but I don’t intend to do so.)

      I think you and I share a kindred spirit. I hope you never lose it, and I hope you will guide the kiddos you work with in the right way to channel that spirit (no pun intended there).

      I told my students today that I hope they don’t grow old before they graduate from high school. I think staying in the G-rated zone provides more opportunities for them to live to see their second childhood. But we know life isn’t one big party. It’s hard to live it up when you feel like you’re dying on the inside, when you feel like you are stuck in the wrong place or made a wrong turn.

      But that’s when the spirit of adventure breathes new life into a weary soul. I’m so glad you have found your passion. I can’t wait to read all of your work. I will forever be your biggest fan.

  3. Another Great Post Teresa, Never had any adventures in my life, Only one real famous person i was close to, My senior year the Pta or someone at my senior high got Jerry Lucas the basketball player who was retired then to speak, I was working security thru the ROTC unit the door i was watching he went thru just waved and said hi, As for you writing a book I want you to know i will be there to buy it and stand in line for hours to have you sign it I’m sure everyone else would,The only words of wisdom i can think of is what Steve Martin said on one of his comedy albums, Is it ok to yell Movie in a crowed Firehouse!!!

    • Well, that is a GREAT story. Love the Steve Martin quote. 🙂 Dennis, there is an adventure happening around you at any given moment. You just have to open your eyes to see it. Open wide. Look. Enjoy!

  4. Hmmmm,… adventure. I mean, ADVENTURE!! Funny you should mention The Outlaws. I dated a member of the Outlaws for about a year when I was in college. Bobby Joe.. now THAT was an adventure — perhaps one best told in one of those “the names have been changed” type stories. I digress….

    First rule of adventure I would say is to dress appropriately and wear good shoes. I mean, face it, you can’t go spelunking in velvet and high heels — well you could, but it wouldn’t be pretty. You said “first rule” but I have more!

    Second, there is a fine line between mischief and mayhem. ‘Tis OK (maybe) to roll a yard. To pour coal oil in the lawn and spell out F*** YOU, not so much. That was an adventure gone wrong (ohhhh, more name changing is becoming necessary!).

    Third, spontaneity should be tempered with common sense. What’s the fun of a grand adventure if’n you don’t live to tell about it. Yep, it might be fun jumping off the railroad bridge, but there could be things below to impale ones self upon, or perhaps a bad landing could snap your neck…

    Aye, ’tis not so hard to have a GRAND ADVENTURE, ’tis more of a question of definition. The physical (the thrill of the feeling) becomes more mental (the memory, the emotion) as we age, and thus our idea of what qualifies as an adventure morphs as well. Adventure (as beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. 😉

    • You dated a member of the Outlaws. Do tell. Are you yanking my chain? We gotta talk.

      You say it, oh so well. Most of my adventures involve humor, LOTS of humor. Anything hurtful to others (or myself) is either mean or STUPID–or both. Thank you for mentioning dressing appropriately. A most excellent idea.

      On a school dress-up day, a fellow teacher and I decided to go GOTH. We were patrolling the halls before a pep rally when we saw two students sneak out the bus loading doors. The kids snuck (?) across the parking lot before they saw us following them. Apparently the kids couldn’t see very well because when they turned around and saw us in our goth attire, they invited us to join them on their little skipping adventure. THEN they realized we were teachers. I cannot print the expletives that followed their enlightenment.

      THAT, my dear, was adventure gone awry.

      • Nope, not yanking yer chain about the Outlaws. T’was an adventure, and a (probably) close call.. Nothing I want in print (on FB, that is), but I’ll tell you that story one of these days. That’s so funny dressing Goth and the students. Sounds like something I would do. LOL Or maybe I would dress like a wrestler and go around “clothes lining” folks all day! 😀

      • There you go…you and that WWF stuff. Ha. I would love to hear the story. I have a musician friend–the same one who put the Welcome to Hell painting behind my desk during parent teacher conference years ago– who had a biker friend in a gang like the Outlaws. I can’t remember his biker name. Anyway, the biker man’s activities lead to his near death and disfigurement. His life changed, and he became a motivational speaker. He asked me to write a bio that ended up on his website. He had some kind of a story. I didn’t want to believe all he told me, but it was true. I love hearing stories about people, especially how their lives change for the better.

  5. ADVENTURE!!!! I just love that word!!! Good Girl Adventure??? You have to love LUCY and ETHEL LOL Can’t have a good adventure without knowledge of these two wholesome wonders. Although mischievious, they qualify as Good Girls and these two ladies ALWAYS make an adventure out of everyday. Of course, all my adventures have been/are “good girls” ones….

    JOURNEY is another of my favorite words… I see everyday as a journey and an adventure. When someone starts out on a new direction in life i get excited for them (and myself if it is me) because i see it as God setting them on a new adventure, a journey to experience. something new to see touch and feel and new people to meet.

    Umm i guess my # 1 Rule would be to keep it light, do not have too many expectations, be open to what comes. be able to laugh at yourself.. if you have too many expectations then they kinda get in the way and hide the adventure!!!! ummm maybe that is too many rules…..

    Adventure, Tee remember our adventure in Virginia or was it West Virginia??? where we set out to do laundry at the laundry mat but Kenny ended up going ….. lol

    • I really envy you because you are not afraid to start a new journey. You don’t need anyone to hold your hand. That’s the way I want to be. BUT…it’s so much more fun to have a sidekick. When Josh was a toddler, he had this crazy, wild imagination, complete with imaginary friends and siblings, not to mention his uncle from England who went with us on trips, sitting on the top of our car. I digress.

      Anyway, Josh always said he wanted a psychic. I thought, “What in the world does a three year old know about a psychic?” He wasn’t saying “psychic.” He was saying “SIDEKICK.” He dressed up like Batman, but being an only child at that time, he didn’t have a Robin as a sidekick. We shouldn’t have to have a sidekick to function, but it sure does make life more adventurous with a sidekick riding shotgun.

      I really like the rule about being able to laugh at yourself. Amen, Sister. And YES! I remember the laundry mat in West Virginia. There were people shooting at each other in the streets! We were in gangster city.:-) Lucy and Ethel, living the thug life at the laundry mat. 🙂 It was West Charleston, by the way.

  6. Hummmm, the good girls first rule in an adventure guide….. I would think the number 1 rule would be to forget you’re a good girl….. 😉
    It would be the most difficult for me….lol but the most freeing…..

  7. Forgot a interesting tale, I went to school in Mattoon ill i was in the Class of 1981, the Class of 1979 some of the members poured gas on the front lawn of the high school trying to make a 79, It killed the grass and they got in deep SH$% oh yes they set the gas on fire

  8. Maybe this could be a good rule for a guide to adventure…
    The High Dive Test
    When you’re considering your options, when you’re looking down the paths that branch out before you, identify the one that requires a courageous climb and a daring leap. Think of all the twists and turns you could encounter before splashing into a moment of reflection.

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