Posts tagged " writerslife "

On When Shit Happens

June 1st, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa 1 comment

About a month ago, I received a priceless gift. My book won a prize, and this prize seemed to actually mean something, as its worth was validated by a ceremony, a gala, an event where I’d actually receive a medal. Only problem, it was in New York City, a place I had already visited a month earlier. I have a four-year-old, a husband who works enough to not be able to be a stay-at-home dad whenever I feel wanderlust is taking over my life, which happens quite often. A beloved babysitter who despite being a Greek grandma to my son, works hard for her living, and is no place to make his care-taking a personal pastime.

Yet here I am, on a patio in Midtown Manhattan, a loud generator truck parked below me, the noise enhanced by the cliché echoes of sirens and honking yellow taxis, busy New Yorkers racing by on the street below me, and hints of a more-than-welcome warm, humid spring day approaching, as a sliver of a moon appears behind the skyrise above my head.

I arrive here, six days ago, nursing the cold I picked up at the worst time from nursery school. I begin popping American flu drugs, stoned I power through the streets, trying to verify my existence in the city. Sweaty and tired, I return to my rented bed, and watch senseless shows on Netflix, determined to head out again.

A friend flies in from across the country, more determined, I find new medicine, refusing to waste a moment of my time in the place that makes me feel alive, invincible, creative, real. Award night comes along, I chug close to two bottles of Pedialyte, miraculously feeling strong and human, for enough time to make it there.

Another 200-odd writers have won awards, many of them are there, just like I am, to hang a heavy medal around their neck, as if we all didn’t know we are good enough after being singled out from over five thousand entrants. The organizers have hired, what in Greece, we would call “flower pots,” two young and hot people, a boy and a girl, in their 20s, they slide the medals over our heads, they pose with us for a photo, the girl with the male winners, the boy with the female. “Sexist!” my friend and I whisper loudly to eachother , Women’s March, nasty women, and all. Yet, when it’s my turn to go up there, I gladly pose with the flower pot, I even put my arm around his bony torso, because for that single moment, for those two shots, I am nothing but a winner and I can do whatever I want.

We flee the minute my moment is over, not because we’re bored, not because I need to leave, but because I feel the chapter slamming shut, the magic potion mixed with wine and the medal weighing down my clutch makes me hungry and fearless. We jump on stools at a bar next door, a man is singing songs that we know, the sound is bad, his voice is great, we yell along to the lyrics, someone is celebrating their 18th birthday.

Today, alone, roaming the insane streets of post-Memorial Day New York, spastic cough and sinus nightmare galore, I realize that I may be the luckiest person in the world.

Shit happens, and I embrace it. Always with a little help from all those that embrace me. I wrote a book. It won an award. Nursery viruses, come, show me what else you’ve got, my next book is out there, and if I have it my way, I will find myself in this city over and over again, until book after book, post after post, fight after fight, I will need no drugs or magic potions to consider myself alive, and real.

A personal story about me

November 27th, 2015 Posted by Tabula Rasa, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Instead of spending the next seven days trying to entice you to come to my reading and launch party (invite here:https://www.facebook.com/events/1079334158752638/), I’ve decided to give you a daily story. A personal story about me. Even though most of you attending, know me, it’s most likely that we haven’t spoken in over a dozen years. And those who don’t, will hopefully get a good glimpse by the end of the week.

Lets start with the basics.

This is where I live (pic 1). It’s not very pretty. On the outside. But its interior has hosted some of the best Christmas dinners, parties, BBQs, game nights, and TV series marathons.

I have a husband, his name is Vic. Some of you know him. If you don’t, just look for the tall man in the room on Saturday, silently smiling as I read, quietly cheering me on.

We met two decades ago. Our lives took us to different continents. A decade later, we set off on some epic fails, until we finally scored an epic success. We got married when I was eight months pregnant. It wasn’t a pretty wedding. I couldn’t see my feet and Vic had food poisoning.

Our honeymoon began shortly afterwards, when our son was born, and it’s continuing till this day, in the same spot, in our living room, surrounded first by breast pumps and diapers, and now Legos and monster trucks.

Lets start with the basics. 2

Somewhere around our son’s second birthday, I decided to publish my novel, which had been sitting in a pile on my desk for over two years. It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done.

My initial book launch took place in Brooklyn New York. It was a disaster. But it taught me more about being a writer than any other ego bash I’ve ever experienced. Seven months later, I’m more confident, but still completely terrified of reading my work out loud.

I’ve chosen a chapter that will take most of you back to your childhoods, to the hallways of our schools, to the campuses where lifetime friendships were formed.

My daily life revolves around my kid. Or sometimes, it revolves around me spending time trying to figure out how to not let it revolve around him. That’s not going to well. But its not supposed to. It’s crazy how long it can take you to get accustomed to this immense change in your life. The change they tell you about, prepare you for, yet have no clue.

I leave you now, my friends. My son is asleep, the fireplace is lit, and a bottle of sauvignon is chilling in the fridge. Oh yeah, and a basketball game I need to watch just started.

Watch this space.

 

Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.