Adventures in Gift Wrapping & Other Firsts

October has been a month of firsts for me and super-busy. But that's good. Sometimes we get into ruts or stick with the familiar because it's easier...and safer. Trying something new is always risky, but it has its rewards. You stretch your boundaries and grow.

One of the firsts I'm proudest of is the publication of my multicultural short, "DEAD: A Ghost Story."

Unlike my other published stories, DEAD is NOT a romance. In it, Nasreen – the Indian-American protagonist grapples with her life and death in West Texas.

DEAD was inspired by the many immigrant wives I met during my time as a business reporter in West Texas. For the most part these women are invisible to the mainstream society for various reasons – language barriers, isolation, and unfamiliarity with their adopted country’s laws and social mores etc. So this story was written to recognize them and to highlight a usually hush-hush part of the immigrant story.

I have readers who love my genie romances, so why not write another one instead of trying on a completely different genre? Because the idea of all the invisible Nasreens in the world sort of haunted me until I’d written the story. In doing so, I discovered a different side of myself, a new voice inside.

If you'd like to check DEAD out, here's the Amazon link.

Another first I'm proud of is putting together my Author's Basket for the Southern Magic Romance Readers Luncheon 2012.

I'm not a crafty person. I can't turn ribbons into works of art, and gift wrapping usually involves LOTS of tape...and the end result isn't pretty. Hey, it's what's inside and the thought that counts, right?

But, I'd promised my Southern Magic sisters a raffle basket and by hook and crook I'd get it done. So I enlisted the DH (he's married to me and doesn't have a, he's very practical & task oriented).

I loved the shopping part. A perk of writing genie romances and stories with an Asian flavor means I can have fun getting colorful, exotic gifts. Of course, I over-shopped. But that's okay, my DH managed to fit most everything into the basket in a nice, snug, efficient way. Here take a look:

(The book in the back is a Moroccan cookbook, then other good reads, incense, candles, Christmas decorations and, like I said...I had fun shopping!)

We ran into trouble when it came to wrapping. I measured/guesstimated the cellophane and it was too short. So we had to creatively angle the basket, pull and stretch...and use LOTS of tape. By the end of it all, I wasn't even going to attempt working with a ribbon. Instead, I purchased a pre-curled pretty concoction and stuck in on top!

Now I have got my fingers and toes crossed that the ribbon bit stays stuck...if not, I hope the recipient is too distracted by the goodies inside to notice the missing finery. Whew, I feel like I have truly earned the good times and the several glasses of wine I'll enjoy when I finally get to my first Readers Luncheon.

Share some of your firsts!

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