This week at work was pretty good. I’m still working late though attempting to get my sunshine’s expense report under wraps. However it is over $25K and will take a lot of time, some forensic analysis, investigating, blah blah blah. I think when work calms down and maybe Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and HIM is published, I can start reading a book on how to better manage expense reports and running a highly busy office. I think a few tips and tricks wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Last week when we had the client event, Tues. Nov. 3rd, it was a mad rush all day to get every detail in order, deal with all of the deliveries, getting everything together that needed to be taken to the event as well as running the office, answering the phone and dealing with on-boarding our new hire partner which didn’t cease simply because it was that day. It was serious pressure and if I wasn’t talking to my JC nonstop I think I might have keeled over from a heart attack. Not only that but we got to the event at 5pm to do the setup, the event started at 6 and then worked the front until 10pm. After that we had to pack up everything and then follow the rest of our crew to the after hours joint to unwind after a successful event.
Honestly I’m pretty sure I’ve officially become an old lady. I was pooped! But my confection of perfection was present, she hired me almost a year ago during a phone interview and we’ve gotten on like we’ve been friends for years. So being that she was going, I definitely wanted to hang out with her some more and chat. So that was a serious treat.
The Sunday before the event my work had a cocktails event for just the staff and that was actually the first time I met my confection of perfection! Of course the moment we saw each other it was a total girlfriend moment and we were inseparable for the rest of the evening.
But quite frankly she takes care of like 8 partners and I’ve now got 3 and I don’t know how she does it. Honestly there’s just not enough hours in the day. But I think I have to draw from her experience and get a few things more organized better than the way I have it currently. I think that’s the secret to getting a better handle on this enormous job and getting a better grip on my stress level.
A wonderful thing also happened this week. Shawn, a FB friend of mine, who was kind enough to come to my book signing with his daughter, who bought both books and is a fan of my poetry book as well, managed to put in a good word with the principal of his daughter’s school. I sent her a bio, my book and business card and she invited me to a District meeting with several other principals and assistant principals. Her email stated that I could meet these principals and hand out my business card.
What happened was far grander. I was actually invited as a guest Author to their meeting/dinner at Vetro a very posh restaurant in Howard Beach. I couldn’t believe it. My sailor dropped me off. I thought I’d be there at most for about an hour and he could take me home afterward. But when I texted him the situation he was happy to go grab something to eat and just wait for me. Yes I’m blessed.
Honestly I have to get comfortable speaking about the book, about myself, etc. I’m getting better at it but my face still gets hot and my knees knock and my throat gets dry…lol
Since I wasn’t expecting to have a big prepared speech, I managed to jot one down while everyone else was busy mingling. I basically went with the angle that my sailor and I talked about in the car, which was wouldn’t it be wonderful to have my book on your library shelves or your English classes as a representative of Indian/West Indian, Indo-Caribbean culture? I’m sure your students would appreciate having a book that is filled with characters that remind them of their own family and cultures and traditions. I also think it would perhaps bridge a gap between Indian, West Indian, Indo-Caribbeans and other students who are of a different culture and background.
The Principals seem to resonate with the idea and I was able to speak to several of them, explaining that although I do have a full time job I could potentially schedule some readings of my book as well as offer them a discounted rate.
In the end I hope some good comes of this and that my book is actually sitting on the shelves of one if not several schools. That truly would be wonderful. However I’ve thought about this long and hard and scheduling a great deal of readings in schools and promoting The Slipper beyond a certain point would really take away from my goals. While I regard The Slipper highly, it is my only children’s book. I am essentially an adult fiction writer. This is where I need to gear my focus and promotion. So while I will do a few readings if asked, I won’t go beyond that point trying to hock my book to every school imaginable.
I also have come to understand something. During my interview for the Guyana Times Sunday Magazine as well as my dealings with a lot of Indo-Caribbeans, etc., who are behind me and helping me by promoting The Slipper and my bio, all of these people seem to expect me to have a certain, squeaky clean almost Stepford image. They seem to have this idea that since I wrote this book and I’m of West Indian descent I must be this “good girl” type. The Guyana Times Magazine asked me a lot about my parents and what values and lessons they taught me growing up, etc. Now listen, I love my parents and they did teach me a great deal, probably more now then back then because they’re more open now than they were then. But it’s odd that no one is treating me like an American. What does that even mean, American? For me that means I grew up in America, Queens to be exact and since I struck out on my own at a very early age, my behaviorism, mentality, the way I raise my daughter, the way I approach my relationship all seem to me to be very American. Though I find a lot of West Indians and Indians to be very American on the surface, once they’re home or you talk about family and relationships that’s where you find out how very Indian they actually are. And let’s also be clear, there is nothing wrong with either – West Indian, Indian or American. It’s really about what you identify with and for me, It’s American.
So in short, this whole image thing is rather foreign to me. I think it’s great to keep things professional and smart and polished when dealing with people on a professional level. But writing for me is personal and I always want to be authentic and true to myself. That for me is the most important thing.
And while I really appreciate the out pour of support from my West Indian, Indian and Indo-Caribbean community because let’s be real, they are the ones who are giving me a chance right now in my hatch-ling stage. What I really dream of is people (any and all people) wanting to purchase any of my books because they want to read the story because they’re actually interested in the writing.
I’ve made a preliminary press kit for The Slipper. I’ll be working on one for the Adult Fiction Writing once I finish publishing HIM. I really want the book to come out before Christmas but we’ll see. I’m working my ass off, pressure is all over the place and I’m trying to be as focused as possible but honestly at this age, it’s not easy. I take the entire Saturday to myself because I really need it. I need one day of downtime where there is NO work involved on any level.