I refer to the famous (or perhaps infamous) Cricket Walker, a Southern (and proud of it!) gal I met many years ago through a friend's recommendation to take her SEO (Search Engine Optimization) class. I did, by the way--I took it. I never once finished the dang thing, but I took it over and over (in e-mail format), telling myself each time that one day I'd be into SEO enough to actually complete all the lessons. It never happened, but I ended up so much into the people that the SEO became forgotten, almost irrelevant.
SEO expert, then, I'm not. Doesn't bother me much. As the class went on, repeating itself in a several-week cycle, several groups spun off and I found myself immersed in a clan of awesome people.
This was back in the days before anybody would've known what the word "blog" meant, when Facebook founder Zuckerberg was still looking forward (I suppose, anyway) to prom night, when social media meant Yahoo Groups. We had one, then two, then a dozen, groups there, all discussing various things: an SEO group to discuss lessons, a Coffee Shop to talk about whatever non-techie stuff came up, a techie group and a web techie group whose boundaries are still a bit fuzzy to me, and several others.
Central to all these was the founder, Cricket.
Cricket knows how to do a lot of things. She's an SEO expert, for one thing. Wrote the book on it, literally. She also knows photography. One thing she doesn't know, though, is how to let people sit around in silence. If she does, anyway, she's never shown it. She's always instigating discussions on this or on that, which is why I must once again bow to her newest challenge and list ten things I've never done. I'll assume, of course, a qualifier that these would be things I've actually wanted to do. For example, I've never hugged a cactus or imported an elephant, but those probably don't count.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- I've never hiked the Appalachian Trail. Interestingly, another member of the group named that as well. I'd've avoided it for that reason, except that it's something I've really wanted to do for a great many years now. The way I see it, if everybody in America buys a copy of my book, that'll give me the funds to take the six months off to do the hike, in addition to buying all the expensive hiking equipment I'll need to prevent my being eaten by bears.
- I've never been to a Buddhist temple. I've always wanted to go to one. They're supposed to be peaceful places.
- I've never published a novel. Working on this one, though. Soon I'll check it off the list.
- I've never met the other, the famous, Stephen King. Just once I'd like to have the opportunity to confront the guy behind the thirty years of daily name jokes I've suffered. I doubt I would go at it that way, but it sure would be nice to have the opportunity to not do it.
- I've never spent a day so immersed in the here and now that I didn't think of the future. Well, okay, this is probably untrue, as I'm betting I was pretty good at this when I was a lot smaller. As an adult, not so much.
- I've never learned to play the guitar. I've tried learning to play the guitar, but it hurts the fingies and there's always been something more important (or less painful to the fingies) to be done.
- I've never built my own house. I helped one of my stepfathers build his, and I've worked hard at reconstructing one of my own, but I've never started from scratch and constructed one. It would be nice (though yes, I know a lot of work) to be able to point and say "I built that."
- I've never practiced photography. I enjoy taking pictures; really, I do. The act of reaching through a lens and capturing a moment of emotion is awesome. But I haven't worked at learning the craft, and I've made a point of avoiding it as I've become more artistically inclined. I'm a writer. But I'm not a great writer yet; that takes time and work to build. I figure I'll add photographer onto that if/when God sees fit to either give me another few hours in the day or a money tree with which to support myself and the fam while I work on artistic pursuits. In the meantime, I'm a dean of a college, and I do that very well.
- I've never had any success big game hunting. For those who refuse to consider Mississippi deer to be big game (and, I have to admit, you're probably right in doing so) I've never even been big game hunting. My parents took me hunting for Bambi as a teenager, but I haven't been since.
- I've never actually met Cricket, believe it or not.
Oh, yeah, and number eleven: I've never completed a dang SEO class.