Inspiring Words

August 24, 2008

They had always been inside of her. She just never knew when or how to get them out. Actually, she didn’t even know if she wanted them. Words. All shapes and sizes. Telling the tale of a traumatic childhood, and the treacherous road she came over (overcame) to reach survival’s side.

Then one day last month, we met each other.

Being an “author-in-residence”, I try my best to support the newly published. Those who have crossed the burning sands in my horizon *smile*. It was my first book reading. An intimate gathering at an upscale restaurant/club to celebrate the release of a friend’s book.

When I walked in, I saw her (let’s call her Tina) sitting next to another lady chatting. Tina was sophisticated, yet unpretentious. A naturally beautiful woman who didn’t need the touch of red on her lips to brighten a room. Her smile sufficed. She wore her silky black hair in a ponytail; sunglasses on top of her head kept any stray strands neatly in place. I didn’t make out the Asian and African-American cultural mix, but I’d see it clearly before the night was over.

I greeted my author-friend and made my rounds around the room…giving hugs to those I knew, introducing myself to others (folks, this is a miracle in itself…me? I’m workin’ it step by step. I digress). I briefly introduced myself to Tina…nothing major, just a hello.

The evening was wonderful, my friend’s book a hit, the live music oh so lovely.

Somehow, Tina and I were some of the last supporters to leave. She came up to me.

“So are you an author, too?” I smiled and told her I was working on the manuscript..no ETA for the book as of yet. “So, what is your book about?” Now, this question always gets me, because I haven’t really ironed out my 1-minute pitch yet. How can I describe my book in a sentence or two? I made up something quickly.

“My book is about a prominent female attorney, who after some pretty embarrassing bouts with anxiety, begins the process of memoir therapy…and let’s just say, the secrets buried beneath her pages aren’t very pretty.” “Wow, so is any part of the story yours?” I allude to childhood trauma, how the character, like many of us, is a wounded big-little-girl. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but before you know it, we were trading signals, secret verbal codes, and confirmations that our real lives had some strange similarities.

“I would love to wrap my truth in fiction like you. My mother just passed, and I kinda feel like I can tell the story now.” “You’re kidding, my Dad just passed [a month after your mom], and I couldn’t fathom telling my story while he was alive.”

We went on and on, had a bite to eat with my author-friend, we all talked some more (off subject). Tina was going to ride home with my author-friend, but she asked if I could take Tina home. Realizing she was on the way, I gladly offered.

On the way to her house, I listened to this wonderful woman’s story…surviving incest, resulting pregnancy, abandonment from her family, reuniting with family….Ahhh!!! I couldn’t believe the story, or our similarities…but then again, I could. Tina expressed how hearing my story inspires her even more to tell hers, perhaps a historical piece detailing the culture clash and romance between Asians and American soldiers. However she chooses to use her words, one fact about our meeting rocked me more than anything….Here I am…novice writer, fresh out of hiding myself, inspiring words in a beautiful woman old enough to be my mom…Tina was 60 (doesn’t look a day over 45)….and still emotionally impacted by events in her life.

Tina and I talked last week for the first time since our meeting. She shared things with me…could count others who knew on one hand. She is so on fire lol, so compelled to write *smile*. We’ll do coffee soon, meet up with our laptops, have some writing sessions. Hubby commented to the effect, “…get ready, girl. All the hell you went through wasn’t just for you….they’re coming….the ones God had in mind while He was working on you…”

I really don’t know what I can offer Tina…how or even IF I can help…then again, sometimes all you need is a little encouragement from someone who’s been to the same/similar hell…and back. Probably means more than the world to her…like it does to me. Ashe.Selah

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8 Responses to “Inspiring Words”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Sounds like an excellent person to get to know. You can support each other. And it’s so wonderful to have a friend to meet in person and talk through this writing/life connection.

  2. ashe.selah Says:

    She is, Jenn. I don’t think she knows how much she inspires ME.

    I am very blessed to have connections with writers on this journey (such as yourself!)…a demographic I’ve never had a relationship with till now :).

  3. Cynthia Says:

    That sounds so awesome.
    I’d love a mentor on some type of level.
    Helping with warding off the feeling of aloneness that I seem consumed with.

  4. ashe.selah Says:

    Cynthia, I have unfortunately and fortunately been there. Some seasons of aloneness for me…Man, I needed to be alone LOL…though I fought it tooth and nail, refusing to see and get what I needed from that time. Other times, I was alone by unconscious choice…couldn’t see who others really were…they didn’t look like what I was expecting, so I felt alone without reason. Know there’s only GOOD at work for you…and purposed connections are here, you’ll see it….in time.

    Meanwhile, I’m here too *smile* (for what it’s virtually worth…), and trust you know you can reach out anytime :)!

  5. disgodkidd Says:

    well done.

  6. Sharon Says:

    Don’t underestimate yourself girl; just BE available and it’ll surprise you how much you have to offer.

  7. ashe.selah Says:

    Thanks, Sharon….that has a nice ring to it…just…BE *smile*!


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