What Really Happens Behind Closed Doors – The Life of An Artist

photo credit – Oswin Browne

It’s been 13 days since my last blog. My how time flies! I’ve been planning my Tobago Book Launch of How To Find Yourself & Claim What’s Yours and then recuperating from said prep and launch! Woosah! lol.

I just returned day before yesterday from that sweet land that’s got me bazodee for some reason (Trinbago lingo for mesmerized) and I’m still unwinding. Still have to completely unpack and get readjusted to life in Trinidad once more.

Sadly there would be no more special beef soup, fish and chips or fish and roast bake at your fingertips or margaritas and beers with breakfast and waves crashing in the distance (no I don’t need AA lol)! That takes some getting used to.

I would also miss the rolling hills and familiar streets I used to call home. But living in 2 places is twice as nice as you get to enjoy the best of both worlds and return as often as you like.

8 days ago I waited at the Port of Port-of-Spain getting ready to board the fast ferry to Tobago with my editor Patricia and we chatted during those two hours of all things writing and then some. It was awesome. We bonded like never before

Patricia Grannum - Editor & Designer
Patricia Grannum – Editor & Designer

as I’ve only known her more or less in a professional capacity since before my book she edited my articles that I wrote for a Human Resource magazine some years ago.

8 days ago, I got on a ferry with my new friend Renaldo who I’ve only known a couple months also in a professional capacity, but who decided to leave his work lined up and hop on a boat and sacrifice 3 days to support me on my big day at my book launch, having missed the Trinidad launch. Amazing.

photo credit – Oswin Browne

I’m sure I drove him crazy with my so-called ‘diva-like’ attitude that he got the brunt of for some reason, since I was stressed and anxious about how this launch would all turn out. Yet, he didn’t say a word! He just looked at me with a blank, sarcastic stare, carried my stuff, complimented me at every turn and poked fun at my apparent melodrama which allowed me to mellow out a bit.

In fact all of my friends who accompanied me on this trip are all artists and entrepreneurs in some way and told me they could relate to what I was going through. Most of all, I thought they would judge me, but turns out they didn’t! Again amazing.

In fact we grew closer, swapping stories, bar hopping, grocery shopping, going to the pool and the beach and giving each other professional advice. That’s why I had to talk about the importance of character in my speech at the launch.

Master of ceremonies - Cavelle Joseph - President of the Association of Female Executives (AFETT)
Master of ceremonies – Cavelle Joseph – President of the Association of Female Executives (AFETT)

I was later joined by my jazz singer and long time friend Patrice Inglesbirth who also disrupted her life and travelled on a plane with her baby to come sing at my event! Wow! She too, saw me at my worst behind closed doors and showed me soo much love and understanding.

I did not even know what was going on until the 3 of them all told me they experience the same thing whenever they do their art or prepare for an event or show. Of course it became even more clear when my monthly ‘lady friend’ visited 2 days after they left…(ladies you know what I’m talking about! :).

Of course I would never forget my master of ceremonies Cavelle who travelled with her boyfriend to Tobago to host my event despite all the while having to do assignments for her PhD. She did an amazing job and everyone loved her.

I will certainly remember the time spent with these people and their sacrifices for the rest of my life.

A toast! photo credit - Oswin Browne
A toast! photo credit – Oswin Browne

8 days ago, I docked and drove my car off the ferry in Scarborough not knowing how I was going to fund this trip, not knowing how everything would work out or if people would attend, not knowing how the book and the launch would be received.

But now 8 days later, I have the proof in the pudding. Photos, videos, a TV appearance, new friends, deeper connections, kind words of support, encouragement and love from all who attended. I could not ask for more.

Here’s how the evening went

Patrice Inglesbirth - Jazz singer photo credit - Oswin Browne
Patrice Inglesbirth – Jazz singer
photo credit – Oswin Browne

Patrice my love, sang with her babe in arms…which she later told me was no easy feat. She was a hit as usual and everyone was mesmerized by the extent of her pipes and range.

The first song – Wind Beneath My Wings was dedicated to the memory of my Dad and her rendition was a tear jerker.

The second selection was an original piece she was inspired to write for my launch and like the Trinidad launch, she was again commended by almost everyone in attendance.

Patricia (my editor) always “brings it” and went behind the scenes with the process of editing and designing my book. It was surreal as I reflected on how far I’ve journeyed.

The review done by Petrunella Jack was out of this world amazing, powerful, moving, inspirational and encouraging. The readings by Kelly- Anne Roberts and Melissa Laptiste took me back a few years and made the memories come alive. So much so, it was as though I was listening for the first time!!!

A powerful book review by Petrunella Jack
A powerful book review by Petrunella Jack (L.L.B Hons. & Christian Spoken Word Artist)

Kerlene Duke-Boodram who did the invocation, was inspired to attend my launch even though it was her Sabbath. I feel honoured and blessed.

Curlyn John gave a personal touch to the retelling of our friendship and delivered the closing remarks in a way that only she could…as she knows me a lot better than most people having shared a room in Grenada where we went to our friends’ Rhonda and Troy’s wedding last October.

My true blue friends and supporters attended as well as 3 government officials from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). I must mention the wonderfully, heartfelt, inspiring and encouraging words from the Secretary of Culture and Community Development – Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt Angus. The smiles, genuine support and pleased faces of Mrs. Esther Pilgrim – Soans – Director, Division of Finance and Dr. Carlton Guy – Director, Division of Education just made my evening and entire trip that extra special that I could float away into oblivion and not care to return.

Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt Angus - Secretary - Division of Community Development & Culture - Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt Angus – Secretary – Division of Community Development & Culture – Tobago House of Assembly (THA)

I was happy that the Tobago News was there to cover the event and I can’t wait to see the article in Sunday’s paper! I was moved by the kudos from the reporter – Thenesa Caton  who covers many book launches in Tobago.

Former Editor of the Tobago News and now fellow entrepreneur Mr. Cordel Mc Clure attended and I was happy to hear that he was inspired by the evenings proceedings. In fact, I was honored that he took the time to attend since we’ve never officially met, but only spoke on the phone while I lived on the island and wrote stories for the newspaper.

Poignant reading from How To Find Yourself & Claim What's Yours by Librarian 1 - Adult Library - Tobago Library Services - Melissa Laptiste -
Poignant reading from How To Find Yourself & Claim What’s Yours by Librarian 1 – Adult Library – Tobago Library Services – Melissa Laptiste –

The look on everyone’s faces was priceless as they looked on with appreciation and gave me encouraging words of support. I was sooooo glad to see my Big Brother Colin attend and stay for the entire event as well as my friends Rhonda, Troy, Karena and others that I lost track of because of the excitement on the day.

This blog would be incomplete and not do justice if I did not mention the following people who were instrumental in making this evening the success that it was: Anton Parks – TV Producer at Tobago Channel 5, Melissa Laptiste and Shaheeda Sylvester at the Scarborough Library and Pedra Roberts at the Communications Unit at the Division of Education.

Your tremendous support over the last few months will never be forgotten. I really, really, really appreciate all you have done!

My peeps from back home who never failed me, Deon Grandison for his kind courtesies and genuine support and understanding as well as Yohann Sambrano who began the ball a-rolling way back in February with the Trinidad launch. Ken Hong for his invaluable support, encouragement, inspiration and service. Debbie Goodman at the Communications Unit, NALIS Trinidad who was the brain child with the conceptualization of the event.

DSC_6045I could not have done this without any of you and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and soul. If I forgot anyone please forgive me…I would remember.

You can view photos here and “like” my page: https://www.facebook.com/CarolynCorreiaAuthor

Until next time…

Peace & Love,

Carolyn xo

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