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Progress

I remember my first book reading earlier this year. Only four kids showed up, all sitting in the front row attentively listening and asking questions for over an hour. I enjoyed every moment of it, and gave them all a copy of my novel before I left. Fast forward to my book reading this past week at Father Bressani. Three full classes with chairs set up inside of the school library. It wasn't the largest overall group I've read to, but definitely the largest group of students. For me it was amazing, just seeing all those eyes and ears focused on my message; young people curious about the themes of my book, how I got to the point of actually writing a book, and just asking questions about life.

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For me it represents progress, it confirms that I'm taking the right steps and more and more people are seeing value in my novel and its themes. I also took part in the Branded Conference in Toronto as a Consultant. The best part of that day for me was meeting all the other consultants and being inspired by what they've done and the path they're heading down. It was also fun guiding all the eager entrepreneurs and sharing my knowledge and experiences to help them find their own path.

All in all, this was a good week. Met a lot of incredible people and continued to do what I set out to do since the first day I started writing this book and that's touch people with my words.

Till next time...

 

Words of Encouragement

Moment by moment...day by day...everything is coming together.   I've really been focusing on all the amazing events that have happened or are happening rather than looking ahead to all the things I still want to happen. Doing this has allowed me to be much more thankful and to actually recognize how amazing this journey has been.

If you haven't had a chance, check out the "Words of Encouragement" tab on my site. I put three emails I received from readers of "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" (minus their names). Although I had plenty to choose from, these three meant the most to me for different reasons, whether it was who it came from or what they actually said. One of the emails is from a young student who actually had a life changing moment after I did a reading at their school! I can't tell you how amazing that feels to know my words have touched someone to that extent.

All of their words have been incredibly inspiring and one of the many reasons I continue to push forward on the journey with this novel. The "Words of Encouragement" tab also has a link to other public reviews and The "Media" tab has a positive review from Writers Digest.

Great things happen everyday, we just have to appreciate it.

Till next time....

 

Living My Life

I realized my last two posts have been somewhat gloomy. I'm actually not that sad of a person, but everyone has their moments I guess. The last few weeks have been so much more exciting and has helped me realize how blessed I truly am. My goal since I first started writing "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" was to touch as many people as possible and inspire readers with my gift as a writer. It's been just under six months since my novel has been out and the journey has already been unbelievable. Most recently I've been working with members of the school board - TDSB, TCDSB, and YRDSB  teachers, department heads, curriculum leaders, principals - all who have been incredibly enthusiastic about bringing my novel, it's themes and my personal story to students within their districts. It's emotional for me to see how open they have been about not only welcoming my proposals, but going out of their way to encourage even further connections among their peers.

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I was also interviewed by a student at York University as an "interesting person" for their Professional Writing class. What I thought would be a casual interview forced me to think about my entire journey as a writer, start to end, from the first days of struggling to find my voice, to the very first edit (which was terrible), to finding and selecting the right publisher, to finally seeing the book in print and having people actually purchase it.

The next 6 months are shaping up to be special and I'm itching for the moment to walk into a classroom and see every student holding a copy of "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul." My own soul is full as I reflect on the benefit of being able to live my dream every single day. I only wish that everyone can experience the joy of having their dreams fulfilled.

Till next time...

 

 

 

Hostage

I was dishonest, I admit it. I lied about something that I shouldn't have and completely disrupted my relationship to the point where I have to accept that it will probably never be the same. It was straight chaos for weeks and what I think really exacerbated the dispute was that my girlfriend never thought I could ever do anything wrong. She thought I was perfect and would make a point to tell me that almost everyday.

But that's just it, I'm not perfect. I never was. I make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. I sometimes say the wrong things at the worst times. Sometimes I forget to do things or I'm late for a date. And guess what, sometimes I even lie.

flower-370101_640I'm not proud of what I've done and I don't want this post in any way to justify me lying. My only goal is to say that we all have many sides to us. Both males and females can be equally caring and unemotional, headstrong and docile, angry and forgiving. We just need the maturity to decide when to best act on those emotions. No one person should be held hostage to being that one person all the time. We are multidimensional, emotional beings and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I still have a lot of growing to do myself. I'm slowly coming into the person I want to be but truthfully I'm not sure I'll ever get there. I may always be a work in progress, trying to balance each side of my personality while trying to consider those around me who matter most. Hopefully they're patient enough to stick with all of the "me's" long enough for me to figure things out. Guess I'll have to wait and see....

I Cried Today

Yes I cried today. For the first time since making that fateful decision to leave my daughter for university south of the border, scared that she would forget who I was and what I meant to her, I cried. Ask me why I cried and I can't give you an answer. It's just one of those moments that everything seems overwhelming and nothing seems possible. For me these are rare occurrences; I'm a dreamer who believes anything is possible and nothing is out of reach.

landscape-342149_640But today, right now, I just feel like crying.

And I don't want to stop. I don't want anyone asking me if I'm OK or if they can do anything to make me feel better. I don't want help, I don't want to feel better and NO everything not is OK.

I want to cry; let out all of these emotions that I would never let out publicly, let out this entire facade of pretending I'm in complete cowood-273825_640ntrol of my life and everything and everyone in it. I want to let all of that go, uncontrollably, until I feel like stopping or until the hurt stops.

I had this conversation the other day and someone asked me my biggest fear. Without hesitation I answered "being average." I don't even know what that means right now. "Being average?" Maybe I mean failing. Maybe I mean not selling a million books. Maybe that means not having the courage to live my life exactly as I want without concern of how others will view my decisions or my actions.

I actually don't know; and I don't want to know.

All I want to do right now is cry until I feel like stopping or until the hurt stops.

 

 

Chit Chat Turned Powerful

morning-393623_640How often can you say you've truly been moved by the words of another person. I mean truly moved to action, to change, to commit, to be a better person. I recently had one of those moments with a friend of mine through a relatively brief conversation. After some small talk in which I joked about being jealous of her living in warm weather Vancouver while we Torontonians wait in fear for another brutal Winter fighting through ice storms, we got into a deeper discussion about something that I struggle with mightily, and that's acceptance.

Acceptance really is a big deal for me because I really don't know how to get there. Something about the concept seems conciliatory, like I'm settling for something when I know there's so much more for me to do.

"But Kern, I'm not telling you to give up on any of your aspirations, all I'm saying is accept who you are now and appreciate all that you have accomplished thus far. And not just in your writing career, but look at the person you've become, look at the daughter you've helped raise, look at the life you've carved for yourself despite being a teenage parent and a high school dropout. Once you accept all of those victories, you'll elevate your mind to a different level of understanding that will guide you to the future success that you crave so badly."

Finding My Way

Acceptance...the word suddenly didn't parallel mediocrity or failure, or settling for less than what I hope to achieve. Suddenly acceptance became liberating and freed me from the uncompromising burden of not being happy until I reach some intended point of "success" that would supposedly allow my happiness to kick in. That is no longer the case. Instead, I would accept and celebrate all of my victories and be happy throughout the entire journey.boy-185195_640

I am fortunate in that I am able to wake up every day and do what I love to do. I am able to use my voice through my way with words to share thoughts, stories, points of views and life lessons with people who are connected through similar perspectives. I am not an angry person nor am I ungrateful. But it took that conversation for me to accept that it's OK to be happy without feeling guilty; OK to feel proud of my achievements so far even though I'm nowhere near where I aim to be. That conversation brought a feeling of calm over me I haven't felt since writing the first page of my novel so many years ago.

But I am thankful for those few moments. Sometimes that's all it takes to change your life. And I'm not saying that I am a completely different person today since having that conversation, but I am better than I was yesterday and I will be better tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes I will welcome it not with the fear that days are passing too fast for me to grab hold, instead I will accept that it is another chance for me to do fulfill my calling and inspire others with my words. What more can I really ask for....

Defining Success

I spent half of my twenties being formally educated and sacrificed the other half so I can put myself in a position to be successful. I didn't take any vacations, didn't party excessively, and spent my money efficiently. And to be completely honest, it wasn't that difficult. I saw the bigger picture and knew who I was and who I wanted to be. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and my career and I lived every day with that knowledge.

Now I am finally in that position. I'm another step closer to having an impact on the world, which has always been my intention. Every day I said no to going to a club, every dollar I put into my career instead of a vacation package, every bullshit job I took so I could make ends meet while I worked on this book; now all of it is paying off. I always say this is just the beginning, but so much has been done already.

"Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" is out now and the real journey to success begins.

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.

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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