Wonder Boi Writes

In The Beginning (Part 3)

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, then you may want to start  there.  If not, let’s dive right back in where we left off with me on my way to visit Diane Gaidry to be a creepy stalker learn about life coaching.  Well, we met and it went great and I wrote a book.  Is that enough for you?  No?  We’re going to ride this train as far as she goes.

The day was May 13th, Georgia’s (29th) birthday, and I had instructions to call or email with all the details as soon at the meeting ended.  Susie also gave sent me with strict instructions to leave her the address of the meeting because if I wasn’t home at a reasonable time she’d have to come up after me.  I rolled my eyes, and she said, “A lot of people fall in love with their therapist, but not many are in love with them before they even start.”  Very funny. She has a lot faith in me.

I got to Buffalo early because I wasn’t sure where I was going, and I was driving my friend Todd’s stick shift (since my car had just been totaled) and I’m not great with a stick (insert lesbian joke here).  I thought I’d have plenty of time to stop and collect myself before the meeting, but when I pulled up, Diane was already waiting out front of her apartment.  I pulled up and scored my first major victory by not fainting the first time she hit be with her laser-beam blue eyes.  She directed me to the best place to park, just down the block on the opposite side of the street.  I pulled up the stop sign and killed the car, pulled into the driveway to reverse, ground the transmission, misjudged my reverse and had to pull back into the driveway, jammed the clutch and “ground it til I found it” (Todd, I hope you are not reading this).  Checked the review mirror just to make sure she was still watching, then lurched the car into a parking spot.  Great.  Are we all sweaty now?

After trying to inconspicuously wipe my palms on my pants to dry off any evidence of my impending nervous breakdown, I greeted Diane with a handshake, (I’m a sucker for beautiful women with  good handshake).  I’m proud to say there was no check-out done on the walk up the stairs as I was mostly trying not to trip over my own two feet  am a good person.  I took a seat on the couch, wondering briefly if one is expected to lie down on the couch in life coaching session.  Well, I would not lie down, then looked up at Diane-Freaking-Gaidry (!) and  who the hell was I kidding, I’d do whatever she told me to.  After making some tea and offering some to me (hot tea+shaky hands+white sweater = no thank you).  She sat down across from me and said, “Do you mind me asking how old you are?”    I thought 27 must be young for a creepy stalker, but she complimented me on being married with a child and three books published at such a young age.  I blushed and she asked a few more questions about Jackie and Susie, immediately putting me in my comfort zone.

We chatted about families and Buffalo, and then moved into talking about our work.  She’d read my blog (a habit I hope she’s since given up) and was aware of some of the things I’d been doing with The Long Way Home.  She talked about how she got into life coaching, her school experiences, the joy she got from working with her clients.  She has the most wonderfully awful poker face that would flash with such exuberance when talking about the benefits of coaching and then shut down into this total emotional road block when when she discussed issues of confidentiality or theory.  It was as if she flipped a switch between her open, inviting, casual self, and the totally together, peaceful, and attentive professional. Somewhere along the way, I found myself doing the same (granted, likely with less grace).  My nerves faded into my writer mode.  I was no longer swoony fanboi sitting across from an actress. I was an author in full research setting.

The tools of her trade were interesting, but the trade itself held more intrigue.  I began throwing out scenario-based questions.  “What would happen if a client did “x”?”  No that sounded trite. “What about two clients who have a relationship with each other?  What about couples coaching?”  There was an angle here, I could feel it, but I couldn’t quite find it. “What are the rules for terminating a coaching relationship?”   This was more than a character aid, this had the trappings of a whole novel.

“What if a client fell in love with a coach?”  That had been done before, but hey there’s got to be a romance in this somewhere. “Tell me about the rules for personal relationships between a coach and a client?” It was a few questions down that road I became aware that my questions were probably tripping all kinds of red flags. I mean, who goes to a coaching introduction and asks 20 questions about ethics violations and the bounds of personal/professional relationships? Creepy stalkers, that’s who!  But I’ll be damned if Diane didn’t stay right with me, giving every question her full consideration.  She was calm and thorough while I bounced questions off of any topic that popped in to my mind.

Nearly an hour flew by. Images emerged.  Characters took form.  I had no plot to speak of, but I was feeling more in control than I had for weeks.  Part of me worried my new-found excitement was only attached to Diane, and it would fade when we went our separate ways.  I prayed silently that I wasn’t just on a creepy stalker high, but I also realized I wasn’t nervous or lustful or loopy like I had been when I’d arrived.  I was still jittery, but this was a new kind of buzz. This wasn’t insecure or restless; this was purposeful.  I started to make my excuses about being ready to leave, and thanking her for her time when Diane leveled those blue eyes on me again and said, “I feel like I talked the whole time. Was there something specific you wanted to talk about?”

Something in the back of my head whispered, your car is shattered,  your book got rejected, you don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills, you still don’t know how to finish the book you already started, when the hell is your next book coming out? The pressure is suffocating me.  But, no I wasn’t going to spill that on her.  She’d given me an hour of her time.  She was a professional, I was a professional.  We were on equal footing.  Now was not the time to show weakness.  “Actually, I think you’ve given me a lot to think about.”

She smiled thoughtfully and didn’t say anything.  I waited.  And waited.  Why is she still looking at me?  Say something.  Oh I get it. She’s doing that therapist thing where she makes me fill the silence.  Good luck with that. I was on to her.  I wouldn’t cave. Wow she’s got amazing eye contact and beautiful eyes and must … be …. strong. “I have no idea what I’m doing here!  I don’t even know why I contacted you I need to get another book out and I just got my first rejection letter and why did you meet with me in person I basically told you I was crazy my wife thinks I’m crazy Georgia is the only one who thought this was a good idea but she’s crazy too.  Really what were you thinking letting me in here?

Diane threw back her head and laughed this wonderful laugh, and said, “I told you everything happens for a reason. Besides, if you were really a stalker you probably wouldn’t have told me, or at least then you wouldn’t have been a very good one.”  Suddenly we were off talking again.  By the time I left we’d covered my skepticism, my Midwestern stoicism, our love of sharing the creative process, and the need to just let it flow.  She promised to send me a whole slew of resources coaches use to evaluated character strengths and personal goals.  I bounded down the stairs still not sure where I was headed, but for the first time in a long time I felt like I was heading in the right direction.

I called Georgia as soon as I got in the car and sang happy birthday to her.  She was polite enough not to hang up when I went off key, and then asked.  “So do you love Diane?”

“I do, I do, but not in the same way I did. This is a more professional respect.”  Georgia rolled her eyes. I know we were on the phone, but I could just sense eye rolling as she said, “Liar, you wanted to jump her. Did you drool on your shirt?”

What was with the women in my life thinking I can’t control myself?  “Susie said the same thing. She said a lot of people fall in love with their therapists eventually, but I was taking it a step further by making the appointment because I was already in love.”  Georgia laughed.  “Hey, that’s pretty good.”

Yeah, actually it was pretty good. Shy, insecure boi ends up going to a session because she’s in love with the coach but too nervous to just strike up a conversation like a normal person. It was really kind of brilliant.  A new take to go with my new characters.  That, in short (three parts) was the basis for my forthcoming novel LoveLife.


October 4, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Oh, bravo(a)!! I love it. Thanks Rachel, and I especially like the running flow of “are you crazing for meeting me?” dialogue.

    Can’t wait to read the book.

    Comment by Pol Robinson | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. Aww, Rachel. You get cuter all the time!! I am glad that as a stalker, you suck. But glad that you got what you were looking for. So proud of Our Lil Fanboi Stalker. Ohh, forgot the crazy in there. Hehehehehe!!

    Comment by Roberta | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  3. Thanks Roberta! I got more than I even knew to look for, and a friend out of the deal.

    Comment by rachelspangler | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  4. Rachel, I’ve had a horribly stresful week and you provided some much needed laugh out loud moments, so thank you.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your stalker blogs and I’m glad you gained so much from the experience.


    Comment by Beth | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  5. Glad I could help Beth. Let me know if you ever need me to make a fool of myself again 🙂

    Comment by rachelspangler | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  6. Awww Rachel. I love you…I love Georgia…I love Susie…and I love Diane. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a 3-part blog more! Your ‘adventures with a life coach’ and stalking have been absolutely, and brilliantly, hilarious! I didn’t know you wrote comedy. I’m still wiping away tears of laughter. I just hope Susie lets you hang out with that bad influence named Georgia, in the future. You make quite the team. She comes up with the ideas, and gets you to carry them out. What a concept.
    Now I can’t wait to hear how Oct. 6th goes. Boy, do I wish I could be there. Will you be as nervous now that your initial stalking venture is past? Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    Comment by Karen Wolfer | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  7. LOL Karen – it was quite a cast. I’m so glad you liked it. And for the record I don’t see myself as writing comedy, I just sometime live it – unintentionally. As to future events with Diane, we’re all good. We’ve hung out many time since that initial visit and always get along just fine, however now Jackson does seem to be developing a little bit of a crush on her.

    Comment by rachelspangler | October 5, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s all wonderful, and I still look forward to hearing all about the evening…tomorrow!

      Comment by Karen Wolfer | October 5, 2011 | Reply

  8. I’ve never laughed that much while at the same time perceiving the whole whirlwind of strong emotions that are showing just under the surface… 🙂
    Karen is right, your are brilliantly hilarious !
    And this time, I got some tissues before reading, among other precautions…. and shed a happy tear (no, didn’t drop any other liquid..!) at your recounting of the beginning of what I’m sure will be a great, long and fulfilling friendship.

    Comment by Lilaine | October 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Wow Lilaine – I’m so thrilled you got a good laugh. Brilliantly hilarious? More like unintentionally hilarious, but I’ll take that I can get 🙂

      Comment by rachelspangler | October 7, 2011 | Reply

      • Rachel, what’s hilarious isn’t so much the life circumstances you put yourself into(understated way to say ‘make a fool of yourself’..:)) as the humorous recount you so cleverly made of them.
        I’m sure I’m not the only one who will enjoy to take as much as you can give in that unintentional hilarious way of yours …;)

        Comment by Lilaine | October 8, 2011

      • I’m with Lilaine, here. The way you relate your experiences is what is so wonderful. It seems to just flow from the creative side of your brain, so let it go! Again, I see Georgia setting you up in circumstances, and then you writing about what happens. What a team! Sorry, Susie, but it is all for art’s sake, OK? 😉


        Comment by Karen Wolfer | October 8, 2011

  9. So…how’d it go last night? We won’t add the pressure of expecting you to be brilliantly hilarious with all your blogs, but would love to hear your side of how the event went. We’ll put the pressure on Georgia, too, and then compare notes. That in itself, could be entertaining.

    Comment by Karen Wolfer | October 7, 2011 | Reply

  10. Hi Rachel. This is my first visit to your blog, and I got such a kick out of this “trilogy”, I wanted to leave a comment (wasn’t planning to…). As it happens, I just hired Diane G to coach me, and I was checking up on her online, which led me here. I’d honestly not heard of her before finding her coaching website, and we had an introductory session where she told me she was an actor. Anyway, you’ve reinforced my feeling that it was right of me to choose Diane, PLUS I found a fun blog. Thanks! I’ll visit again.

    Comment by Abby | October 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Hey Abby – glad I gave you some reaffirmation about Diane. All joking aside I’ve developed a tremendous respect for her as a professional. I hope you have a great experience with her and that you keep coming back to check in here from time to time 🙂

      Comment by rachelspangler | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  11. […] first time I contacted her. (If you haven’t here that story check out here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). If you’d told me all the “reasons” we’d be able to point to two years later, I would have […]

    Pingback by Everything Is Still Happening For A Reason « Wonder Boi Writes | May 3, 2012 | Reply

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