I could go on researching forever, but my book, When Smart Isn’t Enough: Lessons From Our Miss America would never get written until I actually talked with the women who had become Miss America.  So here I am on my way to tawdry glittery, glitzy Las Vegas, to attend the Miss America Pageant.

I had sent emails to those I had been able to find contact information for, introducing myself and the book.  Would they being willing to let me introduce myself if they were going to be there?  No one responded.

So I knew I was going to have to be bold.  Just go.  Gather up my courage, quiet my pounding heart, and walk up to them. 

Turns out being bold would be a tactic I would employ in a lot of situations.  I don’t, as a rule, talk to strangers.   But I keep thinking about my friend the author, Prill Boyle, who says, you just gotta walk through your fear.

Sitting in the airport in Philadelphi waiting for a connecting flight, I overhear two women talking about Las Vegas and the Pageant.  “I’m going to Las Vegas to attend the Pageant,” I said.  I’m working on a book project.”  By the time we started boarding they had invited me to join them and their friend who they were staying with for dinner after the show.

At the same time, a lovely young blond woman, sitting behind us, confessed she had been listening in.  Not only was she going as well, but was Miss Three Rivers and had been competing in the Pennsylvania state pageant for the past two years.

So in the space of 15 minutes I got an invitation to diner, an opportunity to chate with someone in the pageant world and some important information.  I just have to be bold!