Category: Relationships

Success is Making a Connection

Last night at the C’ville Indie Author Event at Telegraph, with The Artist’s Partner, someone asked, “How do you define success for your book?”

photo by Carolyn O'Neal

Cameron speaking at the Cville Indie Author Showcase ~ photo by Carolyn O’Neal

Here’s my answer:

Success is making a connection, whether to a stranger or someone more familiar. Success means that someone read the book and liked an idea, or even that someone paged through the book and said “neat format!” Success means that someone showed up at the book event and learned about the fabulous writing community here in Charlottesville, VA, or that someone plans to give the book to a relative who has had a loss.

Another author’s answer to the success question was “When strangers read it.” But that’s not the metric for me. No, my metric is: Are you a human being, also seeking? Did we have a conversation that we wouldn’t have had, otherwise?

I predict the 21st century will be one where cooperation, community, and connection will trump competition. The internet is revealing so many places for the former three C’s. People are doing work for free, work for fun, work for creativity all over the place, and it’s making this world a better place.

This holiday my uncles read the book. That was the best gift they could have given me. And when one of them said, “I think those women were just looking for companionship. That’s the most important thing in life,” I could only say that I agree.

Success is making a connection.

C’ville Indie Author Showcase Event ~ Thurs Jan 9

C'ville Indie Author Showcase Event ~ Thurs Jan 9

Telegraph is a local gallery and art boutique
110 4th St NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Title, Author, and Genre Information for event

1. Bowling For The Mob. Bob Perry with Stefan Bechtel. Sports Biography
2. Braver Than You Believe. Sue Mangum with Claire Cameron. Memoir
3. Warming! William Espinosa. Cli-Fi
4. Scary Mary. S.A. Hunter. YA Paranormal
5. Camila’s Lemonade Stand. Lizzy Duncan with Giles Jackson. Pre-K
6. Lotto’s Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure. Jan Ferrigan. Middle Grade
7. One Step Ahead of Your Future. Christine Ballard. Estate Planning How-To
8. Radical Doubt. Avery Chenoweth. Fiction

Learning to Be Myself at the Holidays

Even before I got divorced, I had trouble with holidays. Gifts – travel – lots of family visits in too little time – it could all be too much of a good thing. Or too much of a mixed bag (of mixed nuts…). And what’s more, those good things came tinged with a feeling of guilt, for feeling that way despite my blessings, or for being tired despite having plenty of time off.

Letting Go

Letting Go
photo by Claire Elizabeth Cameron
Halloween 2013, UVA Lawn

Then my world turned inside out and I was single again, the “kid” again at the holidays. Instead of a carefree kid waiting for Santa, I was the woman without a husband. Without children. Just myself. So I had to figure out how to “do” the holidays. That first year, I had to reinvent the simplest things, like how to find gifts when I was too sad to like anything in the stores. Or how to enjoy Thanksgiving when I was too distracted to really taste anything.

I finally decided to just be myself. Even though “myself” didn’t feel like much. So instead of traveling by airplane on the busiest day of the year, I drove four hours over a beautiful mountain to see family in Charleston, WV, on Thanksgiving. That weekend, I rested and walked when I needed to. For the first time at the holidays, I tried to just be present, and good to myself – whoever that was. It turned out to be OK. All the worrying I normally did, the fretting over details and whether others were enjoying themselves – turned out to be unnecessary. Being present and good to myself somehow translated into feeling more present and more good to the others around me.

This Thanksgiving, I’m going back to Charleston, WV. My circumstances have sweetened considerably and I have energy to share. But rather than worrying and fretting and planning, I’m going to try to live more in the moment. Oh, and be myself. It sure is easier than trying to be anyone else.

Thank You to Our Beta Readers ~ Braver Than You Believe is Published!

After a week of “beta-publishing,” Braver is back! Thanks again to all who have supported this project. We couldn’t have done it without you!

claire e. cameron

Two names appear on the cover of Braver Than You Believe… but so many other people contributed. Here’s the start to a long, long list of thank-yous.

First, a huge thank-you to all our “beta readers” whose feedback polished our book to a shine:

Elizabeth Brickhouse

Ame Cameron

Shelley Cowart

Kae Fassel

Jeanie Joyce

Rachel Keen

Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch

Jacqueline Rates

These dearly loved ones were there at critical moments (that is, last-minute and impromptu) with wisdom and tech support:

Mark and Mary Mitchell

Christopher Rates

I owe special gratitude to BACCA Literary for their encouragement of the project from the beginning, and for nuggets of brilliance such as suggesting we use different fonts to help readers track the ladies:

AM Carley

Bethany Joy Carlson

Carolyn O’Neal

Thank you to the inspirational members of Skyline Harmony Chorus – whose music and companionship after my own divorce helped me to become stronger…

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Thank You to Our Beta Readers ~ Braver Than You Believe is Published!

Two names appear on the cover of Braver Than You Believe… but so many other people contributed. Here’s the start to a long, long list of thank-yous.

First, a huge thank-you to all our “beta readers” whose feedback polished our book to a shine:

Elizabeth Brickhouse

Ame Cameron

Shelley Cowart

Kae Fassel

Jeanie Joyce

Rachel Keen

Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch

Jacqueline Rates

These dearly loved ones were there at critical moments (that is, last-minute and impromptu) with wisdom and tech support:

Mark and Mary Mitchell

Christopher Rates

I owe special gratitude to BACCA Literary for their encouragement of the project from the beginning, and for nuggets of brilliance such as suggesting we use different fonts to help readers track the ladies:

AM Carley

Bethany Joy Carlson

Carolyn O’Neal

Thank you to the inspirational members of Skyline Harmony Chorus – whose music and companionship after my own divorce helped me to become stronger and braver.

Thank you to Jean Cooper for her careful copy-edits.

And, most recently, thank you to my brother Brandon Clahassey for thoughts on next steps in marketing and online sales.