I don’t do well when confronted with myself. Ultra critical, when I look in the mirror it’s the faults I see first, though I’m probably not all that special in that regard. But wait, it goes further. So cringe worthy is my self-reflection, that I find the sound of my own voice, intolerable and I won’t even do the recording on our home’s answering machine. That said, you can imagine how I feel about doing public readings or private ones for that matter, as I loathe the sound of my own voice even more when it’s chiming my own words back at me. Taking every flaw that was a mere whisper in my mind and scraping it out, long and slow like nails shimmying then quick skipping along a chalk board.
All that said, still, many months ago I went and entered my self-published book BOUNCE in the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf contest. The contest where the winner is announced in a crowded ballroom, full of edge of their seat romance writers waiting with baited breath to hear the winners words being read by the iconic, Anne Frazier Walradt. Why would I do such a thing? Me, a person with severe stage phobia who also doesn’t like to hear her own stories read aloud? It makes no sense.
Well, the answer isn’t all that deep. You see, I’d been the New Jersey Romance writer’s conference many times before and like so many others I always wished I was one of ‘the ones’. Those chosen special few who for that year got to get the applause, but more than anything got to have their work read so beautify by Anne. Each passage a perfect literary triumph. So I entered, and this is where it gets a little confusing, because if truth be told, I’m sure I entered, despite my phobias because I well and truly never expected my entry to get very far. You see I entered expecting to lose. I’m a wisher in the worst sense of the word. I make my wish and instantly negate it with a ‘and that will never happen’ on the back end on the wish.
So long story short I entered. I entered and I made a halfhearted wish upon my entry, I’m sure backing it up with my seal of doubt and then I let it go. But then, way later, a strange thing happened. I got a call that I, me, well someone by the name of K.M. Jackson had finaled in the contest. It was a total OMG, Snoopy dance and then what in the world can this really be real moment. The Universe must surly be playing a joke on me. Someone had took my wish and broken the seal of doubt. My system was good and truly wrecked.
But I went with it. And pulling up my big girl pants I, for the most part, slipped it to the back of my mind, telling myself that I was a not one of ‘The Ones’. That this was great and great was as good as it was gonna get so just roll with that and be happy. When friends told me to prepare an acceptance speech I laughed at them, saying what was the point. Preparing a speech took my wish and edged to closer to the dream category and dreams have a way of wiggling under your skin, making you put work behind them as you think they could possibly come true and I wasn’t ready to let that happen. Remember my phobias and I was fine with wishing ThankYouVeryMuch. So while I was wishing I was mentally working on my perfect Oscar clap and smile for the real winner for when I didn’t hear my words read by Anne.
Finally, it was the big moment. I was sitting with my friends, trying my best to look cool as we were waiting for my category to be called. I had it all together in my head and if things would go according to my fool proof unscientific calculations there was no possible way I could be the winner. I had my clap and smile ready and waiting. The Wisher was firmly in her lane. But then it happened. Anne walked up to the podium and I heard the first few words …
“Sean reaches over and pulls my body in close to his, cradling my backside into his groin. He’s sleeping soundly, but his erection is strong and wide-awake.”
Holy crap, she was reading from BOUNCE! I inwardly groan with embarrassment as my inner critic raised her hand to poke me in the ribs (who in the world opens a book like that?!) while at the same time my heart leaped with joyous pride. This was it. This is not my wish moment but my dream coming true. There were cameras and eyes turned my way but all I could hear was my own voice telling myself to focus. Just listen to Anne. Hear the words that I wrote. And you know what? They never sounded so good.
Thank you to Anne Frazier Walradt and the New Jersey Romance Writers for a night I will cherish forever.
And for making a Dream come true.
All the best,
P.S. Thank you to all who entered. The Winner of my Creative Hearts Giveaway is Jackie Roberts! Congratulations Jackie. Please email me at kwanawrites @ Yahoo. Com with your information so that I can send you your gift card.
It was truly the most Golden of nights. I can’t thank my fabulous RWA/NYC chapter enough for honoring me with this year’s Golden Apple award for Author of The Year. An award so amazing that I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life writing to feel like I’ve actually earned it. But hey, it’s in my house now and it has my name on it so I’m not giving it back. I’m going to write on, inspired by of the glow of this magical Golden Apple.
Maybe I’ll stop sleeping with it and let the DH back into bed in a week or two? Maybe…
Thanks once again to my RWA/NYC chaptermates and congrats to all the winners!
All the best,
Both thankful and astonished doesn’t begin to say how I’m feeling as a write this post. Yesterday I was quite floored when I went to my local RWA NYC annual chapter May Brunch. I was first, really excited because our guest speaker this year would be the amazing romance trailblazer Sandra Kitt.
Once there I quickly made a fangirl B-line to her table to introduce myself while in a smaller setting and then get all goofy and request a picture. Ms. Kitt will be honored the week after next in New Orleans at the Romantic Times Convention with a Pioneer Award, but with over 2000 attendees coming to that event I was taking my chance for a pic while I had it. I have to say Ms. Kitt was all I dreamed she would be, so incredibly kind and gracious and generous with her advice on how to navigate the convention. I can’t thank her enough for that moment and for her inspiring talk to our chapter.
That done, it was time for Chapter announcements and one was the announcements was who were the winners of our annual Golden Apple Awards (nominated and voted on by the group’s members). Now I knew I was up for an award here, and of course in my heart I had given myself a few minutes to day dream about how nice it would be to win, but as I do I then quickly dismissed it because, hey this is me and I don’t win things. I’m the girl picked last, the one for who things almost, but just don’t quite work out as planned, the one that just muddles through and good enough is good enough. Besides, who did I think I was? The completion was stiff and I was obviously put in that list of real writers (really good writers) as a fluke. Right?
Well it was time for the winners to be announced. Insert drumroll here…
Lifetime Achievement Award: Alice Orr
Librarian of the Year: Frank Collerius, Jefferson Market Library (NYPL)
Bookseller of the Year: Barnes & Noble
Media Source of the Year: Heroes and Heartbreakers (taking a SUPER Cheer moment here as I contribute Scandal posts here- and my PIC Megan Frampton is the Manager of H&H)
Agent of the Year: Jill Marsal – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Publisher of the Year: Entangled Publishing
Editor of the Year: Megha Parekh – Forever Romance (Grand Central Publishing)
And then came this one…
Author of the Year: Kwana Jackson (writing as K.M. Jackson) …you have got to be kidding me with this! Talk about the girl least likely. The one who feels like she’s never quite doing it (meaning this writing thing) right. Holy Wowza. I don’t quite know how to say thank you enough or take it all in. What the heck do I do now? With so many rejections marking the path behind me and who knows what, lighting the trail as I take the next step. I stand still. Frozen in place.
Few know how much of a challenge this past year and past 10 years of writing has been as the never ending search goes on for an editor that gets my voice and an agent that believes in my work enough to fight the fight as I would. But then again most of my friends are writers, so maybe they all do. Maybe my story is not all that unique and is really everyone’s story. Hopeful, doubtful, but still writing along.
This may just be my turn. All that said come September I’ll probably have the freakout of all freakouts as I’m sure I won’t know what to wear, how to do my hair, the diet will not have stuck, and worse of all I’ll have to stutter through a speech (my worst fear of all). But know this, as I’m sure to not express it correctly that night, I’ll be forever grateful and forever thankful to my NYC Chaptermates for taking me in as one of their own and saying that they get me and believe in me as one of them. A writer too.
(My silly, stunned, no, I don’t know what to say, laughing so I don’t cry, moment.
Thanks for capturing it Falguni)
All the best & with so many thanks,
Image from Pinterest
Image from me
Image of me thanks to Falguni Kothari
Happy new week! I can’t believe we’re now well into December, it’s feeling like the end of the year wants to go out on a quick flash instead of a slow burn. I wouldn’t mind a bit of a slow down right about now. Just to savor the end a little.
I had a wonderful weekend, heading into the city to meet with my RWA NYC chapter for our annual end of year holiday brunch which, as always was lovely and so much fun to relax with my old and new writerly NYC friends. Well, this year’s brunch will be one that I will always cherish and never forget as I got the shock of all shocks when our wonderful president, Maria Ferrer stood to handle end of year business, announce the new board and then to finally announce the chapter’s member of the year, which I almost fell over when the name was called and it was … ME!
Talk about humbled and grateful. Writing is such a solitary career and for me to have found such a talented and supportive group of like minded friends and fellow colleagues that I can call on makes me feel truly blessed. I will cherish my RWA service pin always. Thank you RWA/NYC with all my heart!
And then to top it all off another fabulous thing happened this weekend when my 2nd book: Seduction’s Canvas was one of 12 Crimson Romance books picked as part of the Amazon Big Deal and are on sale from now until December 22nd for only $.99! Just click to the link on the right for Seduction! Cheers to romance!
All the best,
So I was tagged by fellow Crimsonista, the lovely, Lynn Crandall and given a Liebster Award. What is a Liebster? I’m not sure so let’s go to the old cut and paste for that shall we?
“The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. Liebster, I’m told, is German and mans sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome, so it packs a lot of punch.” What?! Now I feeling extra special. Thanks so much Lynn
Here are the rules for receiving the award:
1. Each recipient must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people you tag to answer.
3. Choose 11 people (or thereabouts) and link them to your post.
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.
5. Remember, no tag backs!
Eleven Questions for You:
1. Favorite beverage? Diet Coke but I’m working on breaking the habit and subbing with the equally as addictive coffee so there’s that.
2. What makes you get up in the morning? Society.
3. Are you a countryside or city person? City.
4. Your best day was doing what? I’m living on the faith that my best days are still ahead of me.
5. What talent are you are willing to do in front of people? Not much. I’m in introvert. So I’ll say knit.
6. If you could go anywhere in time for a day, when would it be? That’s a tough one. I’d be tempted to go back to where I could prevent some sort of disaster but then you get into the whole back to the future thing and we know from Marty how that can turm out.
7. Favorite color? Green- ish or black.
8. Longest you’ve lived in any one place? New York area all my life.
9. Favorite number? 4
10. Favorite book from childhood? Little Women
11. Best advice for others regarding anything? Get up.
And now for my 11 questions to my Leibsters:
1. Heels or flats?
2. If you had your choice would you go out to dinner or stay in?
3. Savory or sweet?
4. What’s your favorite current earworm song?
5. Did you watch the Superbowl for the game or for the halftime show?
6. Drama or comedy?
7. Breaking it down Real Housewives style. Beverly Hills, Atlanta or New York?
8. Do you have a green thumb?
9. What is your favorite reading genre?
10. Wine or beer?
11. What are you grateful for today?
Now as for tagging… well since this has been going around and I’m late to the party I’m sending this out to all of you my bloggy friends as you are all true “Leibsters” in my book. So if you’ve not been tagged and would like to take on my probbing questions, please say so in the comments. I’d love it if you played. Have a happy and if you’re in my neck of the woods watch out for the evil Snow Miser!
All the best,