Wow...I'm just overwhelmed at the encouragement in these responses.
What a great bunch!
I am trying, a bit at a time, to branch out and spend more time shooting in public places. A bit at a time is the only way I'll be able to manage it.
It was great meeting some RFF people in person and I look foward to other meets as one way of getting myself out there.
I know that I'm a good photographer in my comfort zones. One of the main reasons I'm pursuing this avenue is to spend time outside of those zones. I don't have any professional goals related to photography, so it's all about the experience. I'll never lose my love for landscape or architectural work, but that's a ride I've been on many times before. It's time for me to try the rides that have always scared me.
Again, thanks for the encouragement. I'll do my best to take some of this good advice and go shoot.
"And I know now that the cure for my childhood was not to be looked after, as I once believed; it was to look after someone else." ~Philip Norman