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A Little About Me

Inked!

Inked!

As I mentioned in a previous post about tattoos “Once you get inked, there’s no turning back.” So, I recently found myself at Only You Tattoo Parlor in just a little over a year since my last visit. I was certain of the theme I wanted to depict, just not sure it could be done. 

tattoo sketch

It took some serious collaboration between myself and Charles, the tattoo artist, to come up with a suitable image. But after a few sketches (that were drawn and erased repeatedly on my arm), we finally agreed on the artwork.

Only You Tattoo

After nearly an hour and A LOT of pain that could only be described as a fiery knife repeatedly scraping across my wrist I emerged with my third tattoo.

writer tattoo

This one was put in an incredibly sensitive place and hurt substantially more than my previous ink jobs. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to let the artist finish his work. But through much sweat and a tear or two I made it.Only You TattooMany people wonder the allure of tattoos (especially older generations). I explain it this way: I am a creative. And I express my creativity in a variety of forms such as writing, sewing, painting, and yes…tattoos. Body art has become commonplace in today’s society and I’m proud to be a part of the tattooed community.

Career Day at LPA

Career Day at LPA

Each year schools around the country invite  professionals to  volunteer their time on Career Day. On this day, people from all working paths show up in classrooms to introduce students to their work-lives.

It was my joy to speak to these groups of 3rd graders at Leadership Preparatory Academy about my life as a writer. I made authors sound very fancy! The students asked me if I was famous!

The classes had a chance to read Poppy and The Play Date and Going on A Bear Hunt. I also brought along a few friends (Little Bill, a Sneetch, the Blue Fish) for them to play with. We had an awesome time. I look forward to visiting the school for many years to come.

If you’d like me to speak to your group or organization fill out the contact form using the navigation buttons at the top of the page.

The Teacher Self-Care Conference

The Teacher Self-Care Conference

There are so many people who have a desire to become a published author. I understand the feeling. For years and years I held the ambition of publishing my work. Now, as a four-time published author, I jump at the opportunity to tell others what I’ve learned.

The Teacher Self Care Conference Krystal GrantTeacher Self Care Conference Krystal Grant

The Teacher Self Care Conference Krystal Grant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently had the opportunity to share my knowledge with a group of educators. The Teacher Self Care Conference, held in Atlanta and sponsored by The Educator’s Room, brought together professionals from all sectors of education. Teachers, administrators, and curriculum specialists assembled for a day of workshops all geared towards enhancing their lives outside of the classroom.

The Teacher Self Care Conference Krystal Grant

My workshop, Passion vs. Profession, helped attendees navigate their way through the publishing industry and gave them tools they need to publish and market their manuscripts.

It was a joy presenting at The Teacher Self Care Conference. I’m excited about next year!

Conyers-Rockdale Local Authors Expo

Conyers-Rockdale Local Authors Expo

What a pleasure it was to participate in Nancy Guinn Memorial Library’s local authors expo. This biannual event, held in Conyers, Georgia is a great way to showcase the area’s talent.

Rockdale County Author Expo

I was thrilled to be in the same space as such amazing writers. This two-hour expo attracted many of Georgia’s avid readers. We had a fantastic time! I can’t wait for September’s showcase!

A Private Tour of The Library of Congress

A Private Tour of The Library of Congress

For an avid reader and lover of history like myself, the Library of Congress is like the Holy Grail. So when I got an opportunity to take a private, behind the scenes tour I was ecstatic!

The Folder's Shakespeare Library sits right beside the Library of Congress.

The Folder’s Shakespeare Library sits right beside the Library of Congress.

The architecture is fantastic. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the building, inside and out. Due to strict privacy guidelines, there were many places within the Library that could not be photographed. But the workmanship is remarkable, believe me.

Copyright Royalty Board at the Library of Congress

The Copyright Royalty Board settles copyright infringement disputes.

I was thrilled to go in the basement and see the private collection of card catalogs…hundreds and hundreds of card catalogs lined the aisles. In today’s day of internet searching, a card catalog is certainly a treasure.

card catalogs at the Library of Congress

We were able to see Thomas Jefferson’s private collection of books and one of the first drafts of the “I Have A Dream” speech which contained MLK’s handwritten notations.

MLK's I Have A Dream Speech housed at the Library of Congress

We saw stacks and stacks of phone books from various countries throughout the world. I personally searched through the country of Nigeria to look at the names and phone numbers listed.

The Gutenberg Bible at the Library of Congress

The Gutenberg Bible at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is such a beautiful building filled with rich history. I could have spent days searching the stacks. Before we ended our tour I had the pleasure of looking up my books, Under The Palmetto Tree, The Miseducation of Ms. G, and Brooklyn, which are all catalogued in the Library of Congress. It was such a thrill to see my name documented in such a way!

Imani Literary Group Book Event

Imani Literary Group Book Event

 

Imani Literary Group

Whew! I can’t believe we are already in the second month of 2017! The past few months have been a whirlwind! I’ve completed not one but TWO manuscripts, attended book events, gone on an awesome family vacation and helped several authors get started on the publishing process.

Hank Stewart

All of these amazing endeavors have kept me away from my beloved blog. BUT I’M BACK to tell you about a fantastic book event I attended a few weeks ago.

Hank Stewart event

I was invited to Imani Literary Group’s book event held at Stonecrest Library. Poet Hank Stewart was the featured speaker. There are no words to describe the beauty of his poetry and the eloquence with which he spoke. I wish I could have bottled up his presentation and carried it home with me. He was fantastic.

Kendra Norman

I also got an opportunity to meet writer extraordinaire Kendra Norman. She was a sweet surprise to the event. I have been following her career for some time now and think she is a powerhouse writer.

Imani Literary Group President, Angela Reid

Imani Literary Group President, Angela Reid

This event was monumental for the literary community. Thanks so much to Angel Reid and Imani Literary Group for the invitation and amazing hospitality. I can’t wait for the next event!

A Note from Nikki Giovanni

A Note from Nikki Giovanni

With a certain amount of expectation, I opened the mailbox. Peering into the cylindrical tin I squinted my eyes to see clearer through the darkness. And there it was. An oddly shaped envelope with my name on it. I smiled and pulled it out of the box, along with the many irrelevant mailers I had received that day.

I stared at my package, turning it over and over in my hands; feeling it, smelling it, holding it. On the back was a neatly placed sticker: “Nikki Giovanni. Department of English. Virginia Tech.” I longed to open the envelope but dared not in fear that I’d tear the sticker she had so neatly placed.

For those who don’t know, Nikki Giovanni is my absolute hero. She’s my wonder woman, my Mother Teresa. She is the reason I became a writer. Truly. I distinctly remember being eleven years old and reading her poem “Black Power”. My spirit filled with pride and I felt an urgency to do something powerful. Meaningful.  My heart was touched after reading “How Do You Write A Poem” . I’m still amazed that someone could describe love so  accurately.

So, when I became a published author, Nikki Giovanni is the first person I wanted to tell. It was like she was my life-long teacher and I had finally passed the test, accomplished something good. I wanted her to be proud. So I mailed her my book. And she wrote me back within days calling The Miseducation of Ms. G “strong and wonderful”. I framed that letter and have it hanging in my writing space.

Two years later, with the publication of my first children’s book, I went to Nikki again for consolation. I sent Poppy and the Play Date off to her and waited for a response. A week passed and nothing. I conjured up all kinds of conspiracy theories. My mailman is stealing my mail, flooding in Virginia has caused a delay in her response, a tornado, a monsoon….

Finally, the oddly shaped letter came and I was terrified to open it. Maybe she hated my book. Maybe the letter said, “Your book sucks!” Maybe. But I’d never know until I opened the envelope.

I was careful to keep the sticker with her name on it intact. I pulled the card out and read:

“Dear Ms. Grant, Poppy and the Play Date is delightful. Wishing you the very best. Nikki Giovanni.”

I can’t even describe how thrilled I am to have received this note from such an author. She is amazing. And she took the time to read my book and send me a response. I felt validated. I felt like my professor was proud of me. I passed the test. I did something good.

Thank you, Nikki.

Tattoos Over Tiaras

Tattoos Over Tiaras

When you’re nineteen you often do irrational things. I was no different. One Saturday, my friends and I decided to hop in a borrowed vehicle and travel to Augusta, Georgia, to get tattoos. Because I had recently taken a vacation to Disney World, I figured a Mickey Mouse tattoo would be fitting. A big, red and black Mickey Mouse tattoo…on my leg.

I sat in a chair in the center of a dirty, smelly tattoo parlor and allowed a 300 lb 6’5″ man named “Preacher” with an astronomically long beard ink the cartoon character into my leg.

So yeah, nineteen year olds often do irrational things.

Twenty years later, I found myself back in a tattoo parlor. Unlike the first time, this shop was pristine, beautifully decorated and smelled heavenly. I felt so at home in Only You Tattoo.

To celebrate my 40th birthday I decided to ink the beloved palmetto tree, a symbol of my home state and title of my first book, into my arm.

I was excited and nervous – excited because I was actually following through with plans I had been making for a year. And nervous because I don’t like pain. But I knew it would hurt.

From start to finish the tattoo took about 40 minutes. Jake, my tattoo artist, was amazing. He worked quickly and calmed me while I  cried like a baby fought back tears.

Now I’m considering my next tattoo because once you get inked, there’s no turning back!

That Time I Turned 40

That Time I Turned 40

Krystal Grant's 40th birthday shoot 4It’s mind blowing when you realize how many things you don’t know. Up until a few months ago, I thought myself to be pretty mature, sensible and knowledgeable.

Then I turned 40 and a switch turned on in my life; like I entered a secret society for women over a certain age; like I joined a ‘wise ones’ club. I soon realized that prior to my 40th birthday, I didn’t know much of anything.

Boldness came over me and I developed a no nonsense kind of attitude. I settled into myself and pushed fear further away. It’s quite nice, actually. I’ve learned to be free, unapologetic and proud. If you like me, you like me. If you don’t, that’s OK too.

So, cheers to the ‘Forty And Over’ club. I’m a fearless member, and proud of it!