Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp

I know that's the last subject line you EVER expected to see from me. I'm not into rap and hip-hop and had to Google for that song title. I think my search terms were "Academy Award Song Winner Pimp" or something like that. I just remember the shock when that song won -- much like the shock y'all had seeing me blog about pimps.

But it's all the Playfriends' fault, I tell ya! They're to blame. And why, you ask?

Over the course of our association, the Playfriends have gifted me with a number of lovely items. One year for my birthday they gave me a nice gift card to help decorate my new house. The next year they presented me with a very snuggly (and monogrammed) fleece throw to decorate my office and a few months ago they surprised me with a pen holder/paperweight for my desk to commemorate my 15th short story sale.

But last weekend they outdid themselves with this.

The photo doesn't really show off my new chapeau to it's fullest. It's large -- 19 inches in diameter. It'd make one hell of a sun hat. It's also bright purple, so I can wear it next April to my Red Hat Society meeting (that's my birthday month and during that month you switch the colors and wear red with a purple hat). It's sorta velvety. Kinda. Sorta.

I've been told I must take it to San Francisco next summer if our workshop proposal on promotion is accepted.

My nickname, other than Playground Monitor, is "The Promo Ho" because the Playfriends seem to think I know everyone. They refer to them as my "peeps." I suppose I do know a few authors. I developed a lot of friendships in my pre-Playground days when I reviewed books. And I've built on that every year at the annual RWA conference.

Anyone can have "peeps" if you'll just smile and introduce yourself. That's all I've ever done, and I didn't need the purple-and-zebra-stripe hat to do it, though I'm sure I'd get a lot of attention with it. ;-)

I joke about it, but I take my "promo ho" duties seriously. And I'll share my #1 promo ho secret with you (aside from the eye-catching hat): It's easy to promote something if you believe strongly in it.

I challenged the Playfriends in Dallas to each contact five new people and ask if they'd be open to being a guest blogger, doing an interview or writing an article. And since I wouldn't ask them to do something I wasn't willing to do too, I had to make my five new contacts as well. One of them is guest blogging on Halloween.

I know it wasn't easy for them. It pushed them way outside their comfort zone, but they did it and I'm proud as punch of them. I'm sure they were able to do it because they believe in the Writing Playground and they believe in the romance genre, and I sure hope they believe in themselves. That belief will shine through any self-doubt and give you the boost you need to promote yourself and your cause.

When have you stepped outside your comfort zone and drawn on your belief to do something?

P.S. Ask them about how I stalk people in book stores. ;-)


Rhonda Nelson said...

Oh, PM, I think you're going to look ever so cool in that hat! As the Playfriends will tell you, I desperately wanted to be a hat person while in Scotland. It, er...didn't work for me. :-)

Maven LJ said...

Nice hat. Now, where's the picture of you wearing it? :-)


Problem Child said...

Only PM can be both a Ho and and Pimp.

I'm just sorry I couldn't find one with feathers..

Kathy said...

Now all you need are platform shoes and a walking stick. :-)

I'm always amazed at how comfortable you are mingling with others, PM. That must stem from your days being a military wife when you have to learn how to make friends and contacts fast.

Rhonda, helmets look good on you. Don't let anyone fool you. :-)

I agree with Maven LJ. We want to see you wearing that hat.

Jen said...

PM, I'm still shaking over your people having to introduce themselves to five new people. That makes me feel sick inside.

Instigator said...

That hat is just so you, PM :-D.

For an extrovert, the idea of introducing myself to people I don't know makes my stomach hurt. Once I know you I'll talk your ear off.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Not only do they whisper about you in terms of awe, PM, but they think you're pretty cool to boot. :) When we were going to Dallas, I'd get the whispers that "PM knows everybody" and "She'll come dragging into the room at 2AM after an evening out with Lord only knows who." That last was said with an aside that you'd told them to behave, but you were the true party maven. ;)

I'm thankful everyone at the Playground is so friendly. PM's comfort with talking to new people led her to email me when she knew I was moving to AL, and then to keep up with me after I'd moved. I felt welcome and eager to start going to HOD meetings. :)

Me, yeah, I'd get a stomachache from the idea of trying to get 5 new people to blog, write an article, etc. But it's more than just smiling and introducing yourself that gives PM peeps. It's also because she's a nice person you like to talk to and hang out with. :)

Now, a humorous story about Dallas. In the lobby cafe, I'm sitting at a table with PM and someone else. I get up to throw my cup away, and an author I admire recognizes me from my posts on her blog. I'm thinking, wow, how cool that she recognized me. We chat a little, and then she leans in close, points, and says, "Is that Marilyn?"

So, yeah, that hat is SO you, PM. :) I can't wait to see you wear it.

Kelley St. John said...

LOVE the hat!!!


Barbara Vey said...

I love the hat too. It is so you. I look forward to seeing it on you.

As you all know, I came out of my comfort zone to blog and I'm darned glad I did. Look who I all got to meet.

Actually, most people are happy you take the time to talk to them. At least that has been my experience.