On Oct 18, author, commedienne and former Los Angeles newscaster, Kelly Lange, presented me with the Irwin Award for "Industry Recognition of Writers in the News", named after Irwin Zucker, Founder and President of the Book Publicists of Southern California (see June 1 entry below). Before introducing the winners, both Zucker and Lange had the room of authors, publicists and publishers practically rolling in the aisles. Lange made numerous cracks about her age, one funnier than the last. We especially howled when the sweet-looking senior citizen and former newscaster Lange recalled what Frank Sinatra had said about "the golden years". Apparently Ole Blue Eyes stated, in a tone reminiscent of Tony Soprano "...You can take the golden years and shove them up your ass!..." If Kelly Lange offered a stand-up comedy class, I would take it.
I was really warmed up from all the laughter when my name was called.
Lange introduced me saying, "Pamela will go to almost any extreme to help individuals improve their speaking ways. Recently she returned to her hometown of Clinton, Tennessee for a book signing at the local library, resulting in her book getting into the hands of the Commissioner of Education in Tennessee!"
I opened my acceptance with a quote from "that other Southern belle, Tennessee William's Blanche DuBois, who said, 'I have always depended on the kindness of strangers!' As a teacher, I have found myself in many classrooms, training rooms and conference rooms, surrounded by professionals who started off as strangers, but within a few hours, became soul mates. This is why I am still so passionately in love with teaching."
I closed by sharing my vision of "Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!" being used in education "to nip this number one fear in the bud and prepare students for the real world of job interviews, business presentations and for using communication throughout their lives to solve problems and build bridges among themselves and others."
The Irwin Award has come six months after my book was published and has definitely boosted my confidence in this new career of being an author. When I go into my head, I still get overwhelmed by all the possibilities for self-promotion, the technologies to master, the costs of things ... until I remember Joseph Campbell's "Follow your bliss." Then the dust settles, my breathing relaxes and I focus on my vision... Hmmhhh... release a deep sigh of relief and let go... body in action and spirit resting in the freedom and ease of a future fulfilled.