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Embracing the Firsts

Life is full of first times. Walking, talking, meeting a boy (or girl)…or both. First dates, first kisses, first dances, first…I mean we could go on, right? But I think you get the idea.

I’ve had all those firsts in my life, too. And more. These past few years has seen me face quite a few new things as I embarked on my writing career and took those very first baby steps into the big kid’s sandbox. And don’t get me wrong! I fell on my ass more than a few times, even got pushed over, whether on purpose or by accident as someone barrelled past me on their way to the prize I was also seeking.

It’s all good. Playground life can be rough, and so can publishing. I’ll tell you what, though: the same things your mom told you when someone knocked you down when you were a kid still apply. You can push back, or you can get up and keep going. Carve your own path, brush off the dirt and “walk it off” as they say.

I like to think for the most part, I’ve chosen the latter route. Am I a world famous author? Well….no. Do I want to be? Um…I don’t think so. Am I chuffed that people have said they’ve read my books and are looking forward to meet me? Hell yeah! Who wouldn’t be?

See, this coming week, I’m embarking on another raft of firsts for me. My first plane trip unaccompanied, my first hotel stay without a convenient husband/brother/other family member to make sure I don’t lose my key card, my very first writer’s conference. Really, this one is more of an extended meet-and-greet. You see, I’ll be attending the first annual Gay Romantic Literature Retreat in New Orleans, or GayRomLit as it’s already become known, because that’s just easier to remember.

Once again, I feel like I’m about to step into the big kids’ play ground. I’m a bit terrified. A bit excited. A lot giddy. Not sure if I’ll be able to hold my own, but I do know that there are some kids in this particular section who have already held out a hand in welcome, even invited me to sit at their table and tag along with them. Like so many of my experiences so far in this journey through the publishing world, as uncertain as I’ve ever been, there have been so many people willing to show me the way, to help me along, I have never felt like I was doing it all alone, even if I am the only one who can actually put one foot in front of the other and move myself forward.

And that’s why I’m pushing my baby ass out of my comfortable nest and taking this flight. I have a whole basket-load of “thank you’s” to dish out in New Orleans. I can’t wait.

I’m pretty sure this is going to go up there on my memory wall along with my wedding, my kids’ births, and that very first published story. What about you all? What’s up on that memory wall of firsts for you?


Clare London said...

You're a brave soul who's going to have a blast! :) I can't wait to see you. And I think your philosophy is very sound - to enjoy what's out there, yet to know and be comfortable with your ambitions.

I made my first trip to the USA in 2004 on my own, to Yaoi Con. I'd only been writing fanfic for about 6 months, I'd never been to a convention, had never met any of my online friends in real life, didn't even know what the girl I was sharing a hotel room with looked like! I spent most of the first few hours sitting on a table by the registration room, peering at the name badges on people' chests. Surprised I didn't get picked up for soliciting...

It was a shaky start, I don't mind admitting, but I've gone from strength to strength ever since! And I remember that first time with great fondness.

Jaime Samms said...

I'm excited to meet you,, too, Clare. As I am to meet all my on line friends I've made over the years. Trust me, lady :) You're at the top of my list of people who deserve a big thanks from me for all the help you've offered since we first 'met' :) Sounds like even though you had a shaky start at Yaoi con, you've managed to overcome that in a big way :D