One of my favourite people is my Rebelles from the Heart guest today. I’m going to let her do the introductions, since she starts her blog with her bio! Take it away Chris!
C.R. Grissom lives in San Jose, California—in the heart of Silicon Valley. She works for a high-tech company by day, and writes sports romance featuring college freshman at night. She has two sons in their teens who keep her busy screaming from the bleachers year-round at sporting events. Married for 23 years, she’s found her own HEA.
Mouthful, a 2017 Golden Heart® Finalist in the Young Adult category, is also a finalist in the 2017 Great Expectations and 2017 Stiletto Contests.
I write in first person, therefore composing a bio in third gave me a strange sense of déjà vu. Years ago, I briefly dated a man who referred to himself in the third person, much like Elmo does on Sesame Street. Which is adorable for a precocious red Muppet, not quite as charming for a full-grown adult, but I digress.
First person storytelling is as natural to me as drinking whisky poured neat. I enjoy it straight out of the bottle—being a low maintenance type of gal—at least in terms of alcohol consumption. I defy you to discover a method that requires less effort. One might remove the cap or cork and guzzle directly thereby omitting the need for a glass, but that kind of uncivilized behavior should only occur in desperation or extreme times of stress—like this morning whilst drafting this blog.
My road to the Golden Heart was paved with slippery curves, potholes and missing guardrails. I’m not wholly convinced my story, Mouthful, is a finalist in the Young Adult category of the Golden Heart. When I stop to contemplate its meaning for me, the f-word floats to the forefront of my brain. Not the naughty curse word, rather, the nasty one being drummed into my sub-conscious: fluke.
My evil self-critic whispered that word in my ear ad-nauseam following my Golden Heart call from Adrienne Mishel, of RWA Board fame. The main character of my Golden Heart entry suffers from negative body image. She has to overcome years of bullying in order to see herself as she really is, and stop using the perception of others to color her opinion of self. Like my character, I struggle to drown the ugly voice of self-doubt—rise above the negative noise—and continue to improve my craft. All in anticipation of the next roadblock or vista point along this crazy journey toward publication.
Receiving the call from Adrienne Mishel, will be a moment I’ll never forget. Seana Kelly, my friend and critique partner, who happens to be a two-time Golden Heart finalist from 2015-2016, explained that calls are made at nine a.m. from the Central time zone. Left Coast people don’t have to wait very long to know they’re not a contender.
Sometime after seven a.m., another good friend of mine, Christina Hovland, got the call. A Colorado resident, her time zone is one hour off from my own. When an hour had passed and my phone remained silent—at half-past eight, I killed all hope of being a finalist.
At eleven minutes before nine on March 21st, my cell phone rang. Adrienne Mishel had to listen to me babble about the fact I was dead certain it was too late for me to get the call, and that I’d already started crying in my beer. She laughed, and graciously repeated her name until I could type it out due to experiencing extreme shakes.
After the call, I was inducted into the most amazing band of Rebelles. We offer support and encourage each other regardless of the fact the markers along our writing journeys differ. No amount of chirping from my inner critic will chip away at this achievement. I take the time to remind myself that perhaps my final wasn’t a fluke after all.
I haven’t been able to completely silence the noise—but now I simply yell STFU (scaring the ever-living-crap out of all in my near vicinity). I should wear a warning sign that states, “Writer at work, please ignore any random screaming, swearing, hand gestures and/or caterwauling.”