If you’ve been reading this blog since its launch – which would mean, if you’ve been scrolling through this thing over the last few days – you could be forgiven for thinking I’m quite a miserable person.

I’m not. I promise.

I’m actually very happy.

And, I can actually be quite funny.

In all honesty, I tend to make a good impression on people.

Really.

I promise.

It’s just that, in doing this, in finally launching into this ‘story of me’, in finally exercising again these ‘writing’ skills, I’m digging into some fairly dark places.

Sort of like finally uncovering that dish that’s been in the back of the ‘fridge for WAY too long.

And, as with any exercise, there are certain things one has to do to stay in shape. Less pleasant things. Things that are hard. Things you don’t really want to do, but know they’re part of the deal.

In terms of writing, the exercise I hate most is reading the news.

I’m honest on this topic – it depresses the hell out of me, and I don’t believe most of it anyway (or, I believe that a large percentage of it is presented with so much spin it’s (intentionally) difficult to know what the facts are).

And, let’s all be honest, there’s a lot of bad news out there right now – no matter who’s spinning it.

Reading the news takes most of my energy.

Writing about what the news makes me think about, makes me feel, takes the rest.

So, today, damn it, today, I’m going to find some good news. Damn it, I am.

And what I found really, really does make me smile.

The Birmingham Public Library (that’s BirmingHAM in Alabama, not Birming-um in the Midlands) will be hosting its annual Eat Drink Read Write Festival in October 2015. In itself, that’s quite nice.

I’m a fan of public libraries. The Birmingham Public Library, in particular, brings back really, really lovely memories. Eating, drinking, reading, writing – all good.

But, this is what really got me going:

“You’ll soon have an opportunity to check out a human at the Central Library.”

What?!?!? Check out a human?!?!?!? What?!?!?!?

Now, I am a firm and definite introvert. There’s no question about it. I compensate incredibly well, but I am an introvert. Contrary to popular believe, this doesn’t mean I don’t like people – I do (sort of) – it just means that I need to carefully balance ‘people time’ with ‘me time’.

The idea of checking out a human that I could then ‘return’ – that I would have to return, that’s how a library works, right? – where’s my library card. . . .

And, she reports with glee, it turns out that concept is absolutely brilliant.

The Human Library is all about people sharing with people. Breaking down barriers. Busting stereotypes. Generating dialogue.

Person to person.

How lovely.

How right.

What nice news. . . .