On the radio – Two women & One goof

I WAS ON THE RADIO!!!

Now, perhaps you are thinking, caps are not really required for this type of thing. I mean really, let’s try to be cool, okay?

But I’m not cool.

I’ve actually never been cool in my entire life and that’s really okay with me.

So when Three Women/Three Books got it’s big radio break and was invited down to the Alan Neal “All in a Day” show on Friday December 9th to plug our upcoming “Tackling Taboos” at Mother Tongue Books, I had a hard time wiping the smile from my face (and keeping my veggie pizza down).

Sure, there might be some other people who would have taken the entire thing in stride. You know, been all, “Whoa, what’s the big deal?” and such, but I’m not like that. Everything to me is a big deal and this childlike quality and vast immaturity is what gives me my charm (or at least that’s what I tell people on dates).

I readied myself for the interview and started out to the station which is only blocks away but didn’t allow for the ridiculous amount of traffic on the streets during rush hour.

More than a few times I considered ditching the car like some damsel in a low budget rom com and running to the radio station in my heels, the wind blowing my hair like a black silk blanket behind me only to remember that the corn on my toe prevents me from being able to walk too fast and if I sweat at all, it would ruin my hair.

Why don’t they write that into the screenplay I wonder?

So I waited in traffic instead.

I parked the car in the big truck spot (my car thinks it’s a big truck even if it is a sedan and I was more than prepared to argue the psychological imbalance of my vehicle should I be ticketed or towed while at the station). I had less than 5 minutes to make it to Queen street.

I darted down the ramps in the garage like some meth-wracked-rat in a maze turning in circles when I saw a young lady staring at me.

“Excuse me?” she said. “Where do you pay for parking in here?”

“What?! What??” I shout back. “I need to get to Queen street! I’m going to be on the radio in 5 minutes!!”

“You are? That’s so cool!” she says with a big smile. “I think Queen is up this way. Go up one floor and go right.”

“Thanks! Sorry I can’t help you with your ticket!” I shout over my shoulder, imagining the aforementioned long black hair is poetically waving bye like a long fluid hand behind me.

Now with three minutes to spare, I get upstairs, run out into the foyer and just like a scene from the above mentioned low budget rom com, I run up to a most dapper dressed man and shout, “Where the hell is Queen street?!?” as ungraciously as any crack-addled street walker might. He smirks and points to the sign over two feet tall above my head that says: “This way to Queen Street”.

I smile and try to catch my breath.

I contemplate running back to give him a big kiss, merely for the movie’s sake, but think better of it when the security guard shoots me a nasty look for clacking my heels on the marble floors and flailing my arms around.

Perhaps I should have kissed him instead.

I made it on time to meet Sandra Nicholls, the picture of calm and collected. I double over in pain trying to catch my breath clutching her by the sleeves of her jacket.

We are led up to the main floor of CBC where I keep yanking on Sandra’s arm to excitedly show her everything I see from the sound equipment to the half moon symbol in the carpet’s floor design.

At no point did I ever try to be cool.

I took pictures of me and Sandra waiting outside the sound booth and whispered to her: “Look! It’s Anderson Cooper!” as some tall white haired man (not Anderson) walked by.

We giggled like school girls.

Nerys Parry was brought up and the trio was complete.

I could barely contain my excitement.

We got into the sound booth and Alan Neal – the epitome of welcoming and professional – warmly smiled at us and shook our hands guiding us to sit down.

I twirled in my chair and practically drooled on myself at all the buttons, lights and sound equipment. I waved to the two ladies (producers I assume) behind the glass window and spun around in my chair. I can only imagine what they thought of me.

Alan was amazing. He was gracious, easy to talk to and not once did I feel nervous or worried. I didn’t realize how at ease I was until after it was over and that was largely due to his incredible professionalism and kindness.

As soon as the microphones were turned off I looked at both women and said, “That was effing fantastic!” Nerys high-fived me for not dropping the F-Bomb on the radio while we were live.

I try to do my part.

The producer was kind enough to take a picture of us after our stint (less than 10 minutes but a buzz that might last me the rest of my life – if not this month at least). And then the three of us dashed off to Mother Tongue books to do a reading and answer questions on taboos.

It was an immensely successful night!

I look back at it now and marvel at the one thing I hadn’t expected my book to give me: brand new adventures!

I had only thought the process of publishing through. The aftermath of what is now following is mind-blasting good times that are cementing a friendship between me and my two new author buddies.

In hindsight, maybe I should have ended the movie by kissing them!

Then again, maybe we’ll save that for when book sales wane and we’re looking to get on TV.

Sex & the awkward shopper

Hey Blogollowers (it’s a mouthful but I think it’s an accurate word), sorry I’ve been amiss of late.

I failed to report back after the second book fair that yours truly took part in.

Hindsight (and humility) being what it is, I took fewer books, and fewer candies but sported loads more cleavage.

Naturally, one would assume this would double (some pun intended) my sales.

Ah, but how the indie author must learn…

There was certainly more traffic at the second book fair than the first but instead of selling three books, I sold four.

Why?

With so many more people walking by (I’d say 400% more), double the number of other authors present and what appeared to be scads more people genuinely interested in the book, why did I only sell one more book at the fair than I did last time?

I haven’t got the answer, so stop holding your breath…

But I did make a few rather interesting observations.

Sex scares the crap out of people.

It’s remarkable really. If I had a dollar for every person who told me that “Sex & Samosas” was a great title I would have made more money in loonies than I did from the total book sales. Add another ten cents every time they chuckled out loud after reading the back and suddenly I can afford a steak dinner at a high end restaurant.

Lucky for me, I’m a vegetarian.

There were a few people who openly asked me “Is this book any good?”.

My sister kept me cheerfully in check until close to the fifth hour when I had been asked the same question close to 30 times I snapped, “No. It’s crap. Put it down. Go away.”

He laughed and flipped through the book anyway. Didn’t buy it. But he laughed. (ka-ching that 10 cents please).

So what is it about a book about sex that scares people? One of my last table mates (props to Mike and Tim!) sold books on marijuana. One book had recipes, the other was a children’s book that tactfully handles “Mommy’s Funny Medicine”.

Shoppers next to me were quick to smirk and pull money out of their pockets insisting that the book was for their “brother” but then glide by my table after blushing at the cover and awkwardly scramble to getaway. Don’t their brother’s have sex too??

Why are people more inclined to admit that they use an illicit substance over the fact that they might enjoy a book about sex and foreplay?

I still don’t have the answer so keep breathing…

I guess the bottom line is that sex makes people uneasy.

I know people are doing it. The walls in my apartment are so thin I can almost see them in the act let alone hear every grunt, whistle and groan.

Perhaps most people think by picking up a book about sex they are admitting that something might be amiss in their own sex life which is a greater taboo than picking up a recipe book that uses a leafy herb for “medicinal” benefit.

At the end of the day, I went home with a trunk load of books, a little less sanity, quite a few compliments on my cleavage and a strong desire to light up a doobie.

 

Yo – “word” on the street

Words are very special to people. We use them everyday to tell someone how we feel from expressing love to those people who mean a lot to us, to verbally abusing those who cut us off in traffic at this, the jolliest time of the year. Either way, we get our feelings across with words (sometimes grunts and the occasional hand gesture – you just have to love holiday shopping!). I believe words play an especially poignant role in the writer’s life.

I think the fact that I am newly published and that I have taken a great risk to get my novel out (both financially and spiritually) has made me extremely aware of what other people are saying about it and the words they use to convey their thoughts. The one word I find I am most inspired by is Congratulations. It might seem simple, and a bit of a no-brainer to most people but you would be amazed at how few people have actually uttered the word to me. And when some people do say the word, when it comes from their heart and you can really feel their pride, it can and has, moved me to tears.

The word Congratulations carries with it so much meaning. When someone says it to me, I like to think they are acknowledging the strength of courage it took to take on a bold new adventure. That they are waving a metaphorical banner that says: “No matter how many nights you have spent crying, wondering if you will ever see the view from the top of the hill you have been climbing for so long you are finally at the summit and every scratch, bruise, cut and damage to your already delicate psyche was worth it. It was worth it because you refused to quit and this is worthy of verbal applause.” Okay, maybe that would be a pretty big banner, but you get the point.

I appreciate every person who has uttered this word to me. Who has said it from their heart and with this one word has transported any doubt or delusion I may have had to a far away place I no longer care to visit. And to each of them and to all of the people who have bought “Sex & Samosas” I have two very special words for you: “THANK YOU”. Thank you from the very depth of my being for supporting me and continuing to inspire me. I am grateful for every copy sold. I am especially grateful for the wonderful words of praise that this novel has elicited and for the validation it gives me as a writer.

Many people write stories every day. Some never get finished, some end up in an agent’s shredder and some get published. Though a true writer cannot help themselves from putting metaphorical pen to paper, I think every one of them still appreciates the sense of confirmation it provides them when someone who has read their work acknowledges their creativity and their craft. Please know that each time I say “Thank you” these word are filled with the greatest sense of gratitude not only for the support being shown to me but for the long awaited validation it gives me to finally be able to say with pride, “I am a writer.” And your words move me. I wish you a wonderful holiday of love.