Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The Powder Necklace blog is supposed to be about my journey in promoting my first book and navigating the book industry as a novice. However, of late, as I've been focusing on my next two book projects (yesterday, I wrote the first line of Book #3!), the posts here and on my Powder Necklace Facebook page have veered off topic. To get back on course, I've started a new blog called "People Who Write" where I'll share info that's more relevant to writers and book nerds.
I haven't abandoned this blog though! I am still on the grind pushing Powder Necklace and actually have a few events lined up in the New Year which I am super-psyched about. I'll share the deets once I have full info to share. Thank you so much for sticking with me!!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Now that The Election is over, I can exhale. In the six weeks leading up to D Day, I gave in to all the anxiety-inducing reports about statistical dead heats and razor thin edges and nearly dissolved into a palpitating heart. It got so bad that I basically lost it on my sister when, during her Hurri-cation Sandy stay at my house (her power was out for a week), she insisted on listening to both sides and flipping between MSNBC and Fox.
It didn't help that I was working on a blog post for MadameNoire.com which I've been contributing a lot to lately, about an Election-themed exhibit happening simultaneously in seven museums across the country in which a portrait of Obama hung on a wall while Mitt Romney's photo waited on the floor, only to replace Obama's if he won. The idea of the Romney shot replacing Obama's picture gave me night sweats.
I can't remember ever feeling so invested in the outcome of an election though I'm not sure that's a good thing. Four years ago, I campaigned for Obama in Pennsylvania on two separate occasions and made phone calls to battleground states, but this time, oddly, his victory or defeat felt more personal. I genuinely believe in President Obama's core philosophy--I think Michelle Obama expressed it best when she said "When you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."
I've never been the type of person to wear my affiliations on my sleeve. In fact, I've existed keeping mum about how I truly feel about a lot of things for most of my life, reserving expression of my feelings for the endless journals I've filled and my very closest family and friends. By nature I'm more of a watcher and a listener (good traits for a writer, I think), but over the last few years something's come over me. Lol.
One of the biggest dreams of my life came true in 2010 -- my first book was published -- and I had to open my mouth and sell it. I had to be persistent, unabashed, sometimes obnoxious to be heard. For example, the old school rapper Fab Five Freddy bought my book at the Harlem Book Fair two years ago just to shut me up, I think. After I went all Crazy Eddie on him, he said "Damn, girl!" plunked down his $15 and left me to his peace. I didn't know I had that in me until the book came out. Since the book has been out, I've had moments when I've had to tone it down or turn it up as I've discussed in my "Why Michelle Obama?" post and seek a balance as I posted in "The Writer's Prayer."
Originally, I thought the balance I was seeking had to do with self-promotion and work-life, but I now realize it's more about my desire to find the balance between how much to reveal about what I feel and who I am, and how much to keep for myself. In essence, what am I willing to wear on my chest. In advertising/marketing, promotional materials like branded t-shirts and the deck chairs pictured above are called collateral. An appropriate term considering collateral also refers to what you're willing to pledge/put on the line for some bigger debt you owe.
Anyway, I'm still figuring this out. I got more silent in the last year and a half figuring everyone within my immediate and extended social reach already knew about Powder Necklace and also because I was devoting more time to working on Book #2--but I was shocked to find that some of my friends still didn't know I had a book out. Funny, when you think you're being too loud, it turns out you aren't being loud enough.