Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brendell Is Choked With Me.

Yesterday a dear friend dropped by, someone I hadn't seen for awhile. During our visit I mentioned I'd won the silver medal from IP Awards for BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD. She was delighted. But as I spoke, I heard a disturbing sound in my voice. It was my apologetic tone. I was embarrassed I'd won when so many others hadn't.

Afterwards, I realized I've been doing this my entire life, apologizing when something nice happens to me. It as if the happiness takes me out of my comfort zone. I feel unworthy.

Why?

It actually doesn't matter. I know my parents loved me. I know I had a wonderful childhood. I grew up on a farm and lived the kind of life that children's books are written about. We had one adventure after another.

I wouldn't be writing about this today if Brendell hadn't popped in to say, Thanks a lot, you dumb twit.

Which reminds me, is that where the name twitter comes from? A twit who happens to twitter?

Brendell Kisepisim Meshango graciously accepts the award, not once doubting that she deserves it. She's work hard to survive an abusive childhood and to make something of her life. She's a noble woman, a proud Metis, who believes in justice, respect, and tolerance for all peoples. She's the type of woman the rest of us secretly wish we were. Confident, courageous, funny, a loving mother, a good friend, and a great protagonist. She's got a sharp wit and equally sharp tongue. When push comes to shove, Brendell stands her ground and manages to counter with the kind of comebacks that always elude me in similar situations.

I'm writing this post to apologize to her for ever doubting that her story wouldn't capture the IPPY's attention. I didn't know my publisher was submitting my book, but when I heard, my first response should have been, Of course. Brendell is a worthy recipient. 


Awards begin with you believing in yourself, your writing, and your endearing and well-rounded characters. And if that doesn't do it for you, think of it this way. If your child came home from school with a 1st place ribbon, you wouldn't respond with: "Oh, sweetie, you better take it back. Someone more deserving than you deserves it."

Okay, now on a different subject...

On aerating our lawn; if this works, I'll post new photos in a few weeks.

It's so pretty today.


Even Shasta thinks so. You can't tell, but she's got a hop in her step.


39 comments :

  1. I think we all do it. In fact, I think it's a generational thing. I think we were all sorta raised, us "slightly older" writers, to feel that our first responsibility was to others and not ourselves. Ergo and therefore, I think it's high time we were able to tell ourselves, "Hey! That was damn good!"

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    1. So true, Gail. I remember my parents drumming it into our heads to never brag, especially at somebody else's expense.

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    2. Which makes it harder for us as writers to promote ourselves.

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  2. Hey Joylene!
    And no need to apologise because something nice is happening to you. In other words, I'm leaving one of my nice comments :)
    Indeed, young lady, you DO deserve your award and I rejoice in your achievement.
    Holy gardening eh. We need aerating updates. You know, it sorta' looks like caribou droppings in that first photo. Not like I study such things....Sadly, this 'award winning' comment will abruptly end!

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    1. I knew I could count on you, Gary. Updates it is! Have a superdooper weekend!

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  3. Oh, Joylene...I can so relate. And just the other day, I had a conversation with a fellow blogger who wrote about how she can't do the standard "hustle" bloggers are supposed to do. But we both feel we can be confident and even persuasive when it's about someone else. Just not comfortable if it's referring to ourselves.
    Yes, Brendell deserves the award. But even more so, Joylene deserves the award.
    Congratulations on your award, Joylene!!

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    1. Thank you for letting me know this, Kim. It means a lot. Together we'll figure out this marketing stuff, I'm sure. Have a great weekend.

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  4. You tell her, Brendell! If Joylene doesn't acknowledge how great she is, we will! ;)

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  5. If A=C and B=C, then A=B. Brendell is a wonderful character. You created her and her award-winning story, so you're one very savvy author! You can be deprecating if it makes you feel better about it (except it doesn't, does it?) but in the end both of you deserve that award. Absolutely!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. You are so right. The award feels great. Took me a week for it to sink in, but WOW!

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  6. Since you created Brendell....it's great that she is "voicing" what you couldn't. The good things that you deserve, but are afraid to acknowledge. I know that I've done the same thing...the "good girl" in my head, instilled by the admonishing adults of my childhood. "Don't brag," comes from that same place.

    Time to step up and accept our kudos! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Laurel. It is a dilemma being an author of our era. Do you suppose we'll ever get over "those" voices?

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  7. Odd how hard it is to stop thinking that we have achieved nothing when we have, and you have achieved so much. I also find it hard to say thank you when receiving a complement about my appearance.

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    1. My mother told me something years ago that helped. When someone complimented me and I found my first instinct was to apologize or make excuses, she said "Stop yourself, and just say thank you, simple as that." My mother was brought up the same way, to not brag. She'd learned over the years that there was a difference between bragging and gratitude. I'm closer to understanding that now.

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  8. What a great way to look at things, Joylene. As usual, your post inspired me to really look at why I'm embarrassed to tell people when something good happens to me (usually to do with my writing). My characters totally deserve all those good things, and more! ((HUGS)) and congrats again from one of your many fans in the USA! :)

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    1. Ah, Adriana, what a sweet thing to say. I'm so glad you found the post helpful. Sometimes I think that's what us ole broads are here for.

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  9. Dear Joylene,
    I understand how you feel. I'm glad you are doing better at believing in yourself as being worthy of all awards given to you and others that you don't receive as well. Celebrate you and your gift of writing and explaining the human emotions.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

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    1. Thank you, Joan. And thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

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  10. I have been like that for years when it came to awards until someone said to me that I was devaluing the person who gave me the award by feeling non-deserving. Boy was that a smack in the face. I'm much better at gracious acceptance now when something good comes my way.

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    1. Good point, Leslie. For more reasons than I have time to discuss. Thanks for visiting and sharing.

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  11. Oh, sometimes you are so much like me it's eerie.
    I am exactly the same way. That annoying apologetic feeling for our accomplishments. I am exactly the same way and I have no clue where the trait came from.

    Well, you ARE deserving, you're a wonderful talent. And I hope you learn to accept this from now on.

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    1. Maybe that's why we're supposed to connect. So that we help each other shed some of these old bad habits. Eh? Thanks, Carol.

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  12. I was like that for years until someone showed me it was a self centered kind of humble. That made me think...
    Xx

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    1. I've heard that before but I don't get it. How can it be self-centered to feel unworthy? Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. I'm constantly trying to shed some of these old concepts, so your comment has helped.

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  13. Congratulations, Joylene. Broken But Not Dead is a delicious read. I think of your reaction as an introverted shyness. It's nice.

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  14. I am so glad to hear about this. Congrats. I really liked your style of writing and how you put a voice to your writing.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  15. I love what you wrote about a child coming home from school with a prize. That really put this into perspective. It's lovely to be humble, but also nice to acknowledge the hard work and perseverance that led to the award. Congratulations!

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  16. Enjoy every wonderful thing that comes your way, Joylene. You've worked hard and it's nice to see that hard work get the attention it deserves. I'm still totally thrilled for you!!!

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  17. Of course you are worthy! :) But I can relate to your feelings. When people are amazed that I write, I always say something like, "Well, I write, but not very good." I don't like telling people I write. I just curl up and die inside when my husband tells somebody.

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    1. I've done that, Amanda! It's something I'm working hard to stop. But I have to hesitate, breathe, smile. NO apologies!

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  18. Congrats! I totally know where you are coming from. It's even worse when people get upset when good things happen which just reinforces such actions. You deserve the award, and you know it. :) I'm feeling guilty for not getting any writing done, and everyone now keeps asking what am I writing now! Why in the world did I tell everyone at work about my published novellas. Oh yea, marketing and celebration, that's right. LOL.

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    1. Thanks, Cher. Yes, life keeps getting in the way. It must be nice to be Stephen King, John Grisham, or Margaret Atwood, and just write, write, write.

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  19. I know what you mean; I struggle the same way sometimes. Why? I'm not really sure. :) Works in progress, are we not? Congrats again, I do believe you deserve the award!

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