Paste to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION -> HEADER-field

Now What....

Last week I went to speak at a Fundraiser specifically aimed at investing in youth culture. While it was a great honour to be invited to speak, the most fulfilling part of the night came in a side conversation I had with a gentlemen who was just curious about what I did. We spoke in all for about twenty minutes, but the most memorable part of the dialogue was the question he posed: "now what?"

Only two words, but oh so powerful. To add some perspective, the conversation was geared around how we as leaders could use our voice to uplift not only youth, but different members of our community. We spoke about running different camps, doing appearances and speeches, and a bunch of different outreach projects that could possibly have a positive impact. I was kind of feeling myself, the way I do when I make a few good points that garners some head nods and rising eyebrows. But near the end of the conversation he asked me "and now what?" AND NOW WHAT?

"What are you going to do? - What is your one appearance for two hours, or your yearly summer camp for two weeks, or your one hour book reading - how is that truly going to make a difference in the day-to-day life of the people you hope to touch?"

I paused for a while and thought about some clever response about "making a lasting impression" and "if I could touch just one person" blah blah blah. But I didn't say anything, couldn't really say anything. It was too real of a moment and I felt it required contemplation rather than input.

The question is simple...And now what? And now what, Kern? What am I going to do? How will I truly make an indent on the lives of everyone that hears my voice or reads my words. How will I make my voice powerful enough so my words stay with them every single day of their lives? 

The question has stuck with me, and those of you reading to get an answer will be sadly disappointed. I am still contemplating. I haven't completely figured it out yet but I know once I do my mark will be deep.

Lessons are learned everywhere, at any time. The mind just has to be open to receive them.

Beginnings

Wow it's been such a crazy first two weeks since I launched Thoughts of a Fractured Soul. My mind and my time is completely occupied with doing everything I can to push this book as far as it can go. But I'm loving every moment of it - Every book reading, blog post, tweet, pin, email - all of it has been a blessing and I'm thankful just having the opportunity to live my dream every day. But I said before that this is only the beginning. My goal is and always will be to touch the world.

I saw a picture the other day that really inspired me. It was just a body of water with the imprint of a single drop that caused a set of ripples. Immediately I thought of the journey that lay ahead of me and that I can't take anything for granted. EVERY DROP MAKES A RIPPLE. I'm so ready.....

Acknowledgements

This is the actual acknowledgements from my book Thoughts of a Fractured Soul:

I am merely an observer. The tale I covey is simply a collection of these observations translated through my mind and onto the coming pages.

For this, there are many people that deserve to be acknowledged as part of my journey. First, to you Mrs. Selvaggi, who in 11thgrade put “The Alchemist” in my hands with a hand written note in part saying that you have complete faith that I would one day “be lifted above the crowds.” I keep that book with your words as one of my treasures.
To my older brother Kerry for reading the first ever chapter that I wrote and telling me that “it sounds like a story.” That motivated me to continue writing more than you know.
The next thank you is for Dr. Simpson. How can I put into words my gratitude for reading 181 pages of my first draft at the end of a semester, and for including comments on almost every page. Remembering that copy, I think of how excruciating that must have been for you. But you went even further and sat me down in your office to tell me that you believe in me. You were my first critic and helped me move passed my fear of making my work public.
To you, mother, for being a constant source of support even as six years went by before I finally held that manuscript in my hand. You put faith in front of your personal logic and trusted in my gift as a writer.

The final thank you has to go to Kevin Crouch. It took seeing only a few words of my manuscript for you to financially back my journey. You are my first fan and your investment in my ambition to be the greatest writer of this generation is felt through our conversations. You did what most wouldn't do, and for that I am eternally grateful.   
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"Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is available now in print or e-book format at www.kerncarter.com.

Teaser

So since my first book "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is due out any day now, I decided to give everyone a short excerpt. Let me know what you think....

I’ve been here before. Though I can’t remember exactly when or for how long, I know I’ve been here. My mother carried me in her womb hundreds of miles to this very place. And as I exited the airplane for the second time, I acted as if this wasn’t anything new. I watched curiously as my older brother got excited blowing cold air out of his mouth, though most of my attention was centred somewhat in the distance where a group of tall trees stood, their branches left bare, illuminated by the melted snow. The branch that kept me still, however, had kept all of its leaves. And as I looked at this fire red tree blaze in the midst of the cold weather I realized, even at that time, there was something odd about the entire scene. My daze was interrupted seconds later when my brother blew his frosty breath in my face. I chased him through the tunnel that led inside the airport. I remember looking back outside for that tree and not being able to see it through the window. Today I debate with myself whether it was there in the first place. If you knew me, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think I imagined the entire thing.

Tightrope

The other day I was riding around with my close friend John Amoah and he asked me about my book. "Isn't your book coming out soon?" I kind of nodded my head and proceeded to change the subject. He stopped the conversation and said something like "hold on, you have a book coming out and all you can do is nod your head? I would be going crazy right now."

I told John that I am excited, but will be more excited when the books starts selling. He still looked at me like I was crazy and reminded me that last year at this time, all I wanted was my book to be published. Now I'm a couple weeks away from release and I'm worried about book sales.

"Yeah" I told him. "I really want the book to do well." He shook his head. "Make sure you enjoy this," John told me. "This is already a huge accomplishment."

I thought about what John said, and thought about how I am always looking towards the future, always planning that next step. But I've already been on such an incredible journey and its gone by so fast that I often haven't taken the time to enjoy it. I've been completely caught up in the goal and haven't enjoyed the milestones along the way.

I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with me being focused on accomplishing my dreams, but there's also nothing wrong with stepping back and being proud of what I've already accomplished. I need to do a better job walking that tightrope, of finding the balance between ambition and living in the present.  Luckily I have great people around me to help me out from time to time, and as I continue on this journey to success, I'll depend more on more on these people to help keep me on that tightrope.

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