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Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm Now an Award Winning Author

Isaiah Washington, Victoria Christopher Murray, Me and Yvette Hayward
This past Thursday I embarked on a journey to the African American Literary Awards Show held in New York. It was a rocky start, beginning with my connecting flight that I missed due to inclement weather and my plane running out of fuel causing the plane to make a detour and refuel. After many delays, I finally made it to New York with two hours to prepare for the awards. I didn't have time for the mental break down I felt I deserved, instead I put on my big girl shoes and persevered.

I had the concierge send for a car to take me to the awards show, and again bad luck reared its ugly head. The concierge had written down the wrong address, writing the address numbers backward. By now the car that dropped me off was now gone and I was stranded. Next, I walked down the block in my five inch heels and hailed a taxi to take me to the correct address, which cost me an additional $10. Tired, frustrated and sleepy as hell, I walked in the building feeling slightly defeated. But by the time I stepped off the elevator, I had given myself a stern pep talk. I said, "Lena, you made this far in spite of the obstacles, just go a little further and claim what God has in store for you. You are already a winner, you just need to get your award." So I stepped out that elevator confident and assured. I was met by familiar faces that I admire, like authors Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley. Then I met new authors that I recognized through Facebook and the back of book covers, like Walter Mosley, Wahida Clark and K'Wan. I also met editors of Kensington Publishing and the founder of AALBC, Troy Johnson.

Me and Victoria Christopher Murray
The time finally arrived to have dinner and to announce the winners. My category was Anthologies/Short Stories and the presenter was none other than Victoria Christopher Murray, whom I sincerely adore. When she announced my name as the winner, she smiled so wide and said, "one of mine won. Yes!" She gave me a kiss and a hug and I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. I became teary-eyed and thanked my blog followers and readers for their support. Because I knew without them, I couldn't have made it this far. I took photos with the AALAS founder Yvette Hayward, Victoria Christopher Murray and actor Isaiah Washington. 

I took my seat, stared at my award and exhaled. I was now ready to go home. I was elated to be there but I missed my husband who was back home in Alabama with our kids. Without him there to share in my joy, it just didn't feel complete. He has been my biggest cheerleader from day one. He bought me my first computer and told me to write. So without him, the moment felt imperfect. I needed to get home and show him our award. After the awards were over, I took lots of pictures and networked. I hailed a taxi back to my hotel room and packed my suitcase. I had to be at the airport in less than fours hours, I had no time to relax or decompress. Not wanting to wake up my husband with a late phone call, I texted him the words, "I did it." He texted me back, "We won?" I texted him back, "We sure did." Then I called him and told him all about my exhausting day, while he listened attentively. My heart and my award truly belonged in sweet home Alabama and I couldn't wait to get them both there.

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Lena's Ramblings

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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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