By Jennon Bell   Published Jan 24, 2005 at 5:25 AM

{image1} Have you ever felt stuck in the spin cycle of life, tumbling around aimlessly, getting bumpe and bruised along the way? And just when you think you've reached your lowest depths, some cheery-eyed, 1,000-watt smiley songbird chirps, "Don't worry. Be happy!" And you just want to wring his neck.

Unclasp your hands, and release the tension.

Take a deep breath.

Your saving grace is here. Kris Radish's new book, "Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn" is a rally cry for women to start living their lives on their own terms, and finally realizing how to not worry and just be happy.

"This book is a tribute to all the women in my life," says Radish. "It's very frightening to be different, to step out and make yourself happy. Not enough people are happy."

"Dancing Naked" is the story of Meg, a suburban working mother whose life quickly spirals out of control after witnessing a jarring incident. With encouragement from the radical, wild women in her life, Meg begins an odyssey that takes her to exotic, mysterious Mexico and to the depths of her soul. She finds that reconstructing a life and rewiring her mode of thinking is not for the light-hearted.

And on Meg's bumpy road of re-discovery, Radish stresses the importance of female friendships, the fun part about growing older and not necessarily wiser, and the satisfaction in helping yourself by helping others.

"In my books, I am able to talk about our own issues. I get to weave my own convictions, be an activist in my own novel," Radish says. "I just want to bring a positive message."

Radish uses her own experiences to shape the story. She grew up in Big Bend, as a proud member of the Girl Scouts. Being a scribe for the organization inspired her to pursue degree in journalism at UW-Milwaukee. Now living in Oconomowoc, Radish spends her time being a political columnist, humorist, PR consultant, novelist, mother of two teenagers and a self-acclaimed "voracious reader." And she's dedicated to what her stories convey.

Radish says, "You reach a point in your life when you need to make a change. It is nice to know there are other women feeling the same way. Female friendships are grounding. It's a common denominator. I am very honest with who I am and I try to empower women to be happy."

Recognizing her primarily female audience, Radish laughs. "A smart man could read my book and understand women better. I don't write to dismiss men. Let someone else take care of the men. I'm taking care of the women."

Kris Radish will read from "Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn" at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in Mequon, on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. Admission is free.