Yesterday I got a great phone call! A local photographer responded to my request to be an assistant and is willing to mentor me! Her name is Jes and she is a perfect fit for me, from what I can tell. Very experienced, very assertive, and very happy to help me get started with photography!
January 30th I'm meeting up with her for a bridal shoot at a local golf course, then the following Wednesday she is going to show me some tips in Photoshop. I feel so blessed to have a perfect stranger wanting to help me out! After our conversation, I think we'll get along so well too.
You can see her work here: http://jesmyrickphotography.com/
Oh! And P.S. - the gal she mentored a couple years ago is willing to help me too. Her name is Kristina and, from what I can see, is extremely talented as well.