Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday-2:45am--My 15 Minutes of Fame

What a day! :):)
Early, early in the morning I got an email letting me know that they had officially announced the winners of the Tom Howard Poetry Contest. I didn't expect the wonderful things they had to say about my poem!! Wow!


As you know, I have been up all night with my recently flipped hours. I thought--boy! I will sleep well today, that's for sure. How wonderful!

Then I get an email telling me that somebody named Jason Spiess had added me as a friend and sent me a message? Huh? Didn't know any Jason--but went to peek at what he had to say. Here he was asking me if I was interested in being interviewed on the local KFGO radio station between 12-2pm about my poem, the contest, and my background? And maybe I could even read the poem on the air?

Totally spooked me! How did he even know about it?!! Just heard about it myself less than an hour ago. They hadn't even posted the poem on their website yet. I wondered if it was some kind of hoax or scam? Couldn't possibly be real. Who would be wanting to interview me, right? I googled him--and found out he really did work for the local radio station. OMG!

Now my heart started to pound and my stomach went--just like it does every single time I have ever had to speak in front of people. All the way back to grade school and right up through all those dreadful presentations we had to make in nearly every college class I was in--arrrggg! In fact, when Soft Breaths was published in the local MSUM Red Weather literary magazine they were having a public reading and I was asked to read my story They wanted all the local people that had been published to be there and read. I offered to sell copies of the magazine (which I did--hehe!)---but told them I couldn't possibly manage a public reading.

Even though I get shaky and sick to my stomach with things like class presentations, I would usually calm down a little after while. But--reading--out loud--in front of strangers--some of the things I have written--well, make my eyes well up and my voice crack. Too close to my heart, you know. (Especially that one--because it is about Dagan.) Anyways, another writing student knew a graduating MFA writing student she said might help me out--and that very kind gentleman stood up and read the story in my stead. Wow! I stared at my lap the whole time. He did a perfect job.

Okay--so--too much--too much. I decide I am just going to close the computer and pretend I never saw it and go to bed.

But then a little while later the phone rings. Jason Spiess was on the phone! The first thing I asked him was--how did he even know about it? He told me--well, you're all over the web this morning. What? He told me the news press release had gotten picked up by a few places, blogs, and even twitter spots. Amazing! Well--since he called to ask me personally--and since I assured him my poem was too long to read (10 minute interview) and that I had never read publicly--I agreed. We did a pre-interview and that meant, of course, that I had to stay awake until the 12:30ish interview. :)

I made a couple calls and sent a couple emails. Pacing about. Jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers. Decided to google myself. (Doesn't that sound odd?) And, lo and behold, I was on quite a few of the websites on the first couple pages! OMG! My fifteen minutes of fame was yesterday! I'm probably old news today--but yesterday was both exciting and a bit unnerving.

In fact, I was such a walking, giggling jitter bomb that I had noooo trouble staying awake! In fact, I finally grabbed some Rolaids and put on some of my relaxing harp music to calm down before the actual interview. And I guess it went okay? He introduced my "heartwarming" story--hehe! I told him how I ended up basically house-bound on disability the last five years since I had to quit college and hadn't been writing since then--why--hard to sit at the computer and all. How my winning was a kind of strange story. How Barbara Elliott Carpenter looked me up on Facebook after all these years, knew about the contest, and volunteered to pay the fee for me because I couldn't afford it at the time--and then I actually won! That if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have entered. He thought that was like fate/ a sign and that it was a good thing I had gotten myself a laptop--kind of reinvesting in my writing--figuring out a way to be physically able to spend more time at the computer. He was very nice and made it easier for me. :)

Anyways, it's blurry, to be honest. Hard to remember exactly what we said on the air--but I think it went okay. Was over with in no time and I was so relieved when it was done. Whew! That was a brand new experience, for sure. Yup! My 15 minutes of fame--hehehe!

I was so wound up that I was still awake last night so that I could call Dagan after work and tell him about it, too. :) So nice to have such a wonderful support system. Leah wasn't home yet--so I haven't talked to her yet about her new job. But she did send me an email halfway thru the day and it was going well!! Awesome! And she was thrilled for me, too.

What a day! What a day!

When I tried to go to bed--I was back up in just three hours--dang! So I have been up all night again, regardless. My life goes on just as it has been--hehe! I've had to take breaks, of course--and by now it is 6am.

Thanks to each and every one of you who have been encouraging about my stories and my blog--the crafts and the painting attempts--well--just any and all of my creative ventures. Thank you so much!

Not that Karma was impressed one little bit. She found my jittery nerves absolutely and thoroughly annoying. Nothing like a cat to remind you of your true place in the world--ROFL!! I guess I'll go clean the cat box. :):)


AliceKay said...

Wow...so exciting. I'm glad you did the interview for that radio station, and it sure sounds like you are, too. I could never read out loud in class very well. I felt like my heart was gonna jump right out of my chest and my voice cracked, too. I felt physically ill until it was over.

I hope you were able to get some sleep. Congrats on the poem. :)

Julie Jordan Scott said...

What exciting news!! Many many congrats on your (I know it will be much more than) 15 minutes of fame!!

Rita said...

AliceKay! Thanks! Yes--I'm glad I did the interview--if, for no other reason, I can now say I had a phone interview on the radio--ROFL! New experiences, eh? It sounds like you and I both feel the same about public speaking. I am still shaky afterwards for a while and it takes some time for me not to feel ill--so I totally relate--hehe! Hey! Silver lining! Since my health is so poor I won't ever have to do more than a phone interview--ROFL!!! :):)

Rita said...

Hi Julie!
Ha! I don't know about that, but many thanks, Lady! And congrats to you on your play. I bet we are both still smiling!! :):)

Serena Lewis said...

OMG, Rita, that was such exciting news for you!!! WTG!! I'm so glad to hear that all went well. I'll be able to say...I knew her when. :)

I get nervous and trip over my words when I realise a group of people are listening to me. I'm okay one-on-one but more than that makes me very self-conscious and I say stupid things.

As for reading out emotional stories or poems...I'm useless...even on a one-on-one basis! I start reading/recounting a story/poem...then I start crying and my voice cracks while I try to stop myself from crying...although I do manage to get the odd word out here or there....I'm such a sap! lol

Rita said...

Hi Serena!!
Hehehe! It was fun! I am soooo glad he was okay with me not reading it on the air. They posted it on their website instead. Thank goodness! Yes--I am better one-on-one, too. And even then I can kind of lose it, too. So strange because I am normally not a cryer and I can talk "about" personal things moreso than a lot of people, I guess. But my writing just comes in closer, you know? Anyways, another new and exciting experience in my life. :):) Thanks so much!!

akartisan said...

I'm so happy for you! Things seem to be definitely going your way these days.

Rita said...

Thanks Sue! Yes--and it's been quite nice--hehe! :)

Jenifleur-de-lis said...

Rita, that is so exciting! Glad you had such a fun and memorable day! :) I remember that reading for Red Weather too. That guy really read well for you! I so know what you mean about not only public speaking in front of groups but reading your own work...yikes. I don't even want to think about it! :) Congrats again!

Rita said...

Hi Jennifer!
Yes--he read it sooo well. (I still got a little teary hearing it out loud for the first time. Silly.) I was amazed because he had just read it fast once before he read it in front of everybody! Some people are just good at it. Isn't it hard to believe that was already--what? 5-6 years ago? Whew! :)

Jenifleur-de-lis said...

Yes, it seems like a lifetime ago! And it may be closer to 7 years because I graduated in December of 2004! YIKES!

Rita said...

Jennifer--OMG!! Seven years already!!! Wow! That surprised me. Time sure flies. :)

Spinneretta said...

Congratulations Rita!!

How exciting!

Rita said...

You're welcome, Spinneretta! Thanks!!! :)