Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gettin' Naughty - Hussy Power!

Ciana, Sahara and Nat have done a good job of explaining the original meaning of the word “hussy” so I won’t rehash it all again. Instead, I’m going to tell you about my personal experience with letting my inner hussy out to play and how it has made positive changes in me.

While growing up, I was painfully shy. Attempting to help, my mother was always putting me into social situations with lots of other people hoping to bring me out of my shyness, like birthday parties with dozens of kids running around. What it succeeded in doing was stressing me out and made me feel inadequate. New people in mass quantities put me into a panic. What we found that worked was one or two new people consistently over time. I would be quiet at first, but as I got to know them I’d open up.

I have no idea why I was so extremely shy. I didn’t have a childhood trauma or anything, it’s was just part of me. I think that growing up in a neighborhood where I was the only girl helped foster my shyness. Guys don’t feel the need to talk constantly. The boys weren’t bothered by my being quiet until I got comfortable enough to talk. Through my school years my only friends were the ones with the patience to wait for me to reach my comfort zone.

When entering the work world, I chose safe jobs working as an operator, file clerk, and customer service positions where I dealt with the public only by phone. After some personal upheaval, I made a drastic move and went into the Army. There’s no being shy in the military. When anyone of higher rank asks you something you have to reply, and not in a shy whisper. My time in the military, although only two brief years, did wonders for conquering my shyness and giving me confidence but I was still very quiet and reserved.

After that, I managed to earn three college degrees (I love school) and even aced my public speaking class. In my work as a CT scan tech my supervisors observed my leadership skills and I went through the hospital’s management program. I had thought I’d conquered the worst of my shyness, but one day I got an email that changed my life.

Nothing I’ve ever experience prepared me for having one of my stories be released to the public. Talk about putting yourself out there…OMG! When Passionate Realities released, I felt like I was standing center stage under the spotlights, naked, with all my most private, taboo sexual thoughts exposed to the whole world. Thankfully, book releases have gotten easier since then and writing e-books is perfect for me. Sit behind my computer to write and talk to readers online. All very safe for a shy person.

It was another email that really brought out my inner hussy. The email was from an author who I greatly admire asking me to be a Hussy. The five of us found that we clicked really well in all our online interactions, but then it came time for the Romantic Times Convention. I’d gone to RT once before and to say I found it intimidating is an extreme understatement. Not this time though. This time I had the power of The Hussies behind me.

I haven’t talked about my personal experiences at RT much because I’m still blown away. Through the whole convention, I was bold, confident, outgoing, and put myself out there as I have never before. It wasn’t an act or simply putting on another persona, it was the real inner me. I didn’t feel awkward, inadequate or shy, and I had such a good time meeting new people, which in itself is astounding. My inner hussy shined bright! And I wasn’t a wallflower either—far from it. There was no hiding when I put on a sexy red backless gown and entered the party with my stunning Hussy sistas. When I walked across the stage on Rodney’s arm, I felt… Damn, there are really no words to describe how amazing I felt.

My shyness did rear its head at one point—the print book signing. There’s just something about that event with the power to make me sweat! Nat even got a picture of me, before they let the readers in, sporting my deer-in-the-headlights look. I hope you ditched that, Nat! LOL!

The best part is that I didn’t leave those feelings of empowerment and confidence behind when I came home as I'd feared might happen. My inner hussy got a taste of freedom and she’s here to stay! No more inhibited tomboy for me. Everyone who knows me noticed the difference right away.

Oh, I’m sure there will be a few situations able to bring out the timidity, but I’m not stuffing my hussy back in a box. Not that she’d let me. No how, no way! She's here to stay. I can tell you from first hand experience too, confidence truly is sexy!

Hussy Power, baby!

She’s in there somewhere, and trust me, letting her out can be life altering. Isn’t it time you let your inner hussy out to play? I highly recommend you do!

So naughty it's scandalous!


N.J.Walters said...

Love that picture!

As someone who was painfully shy as a child, I understand how stressful social situations can be. Heck, I wouldn't even answer the phone as a kid unless forced.

I've gotten so much better as an adult. I think working in retail for almost 20 years helped. LOL

Next year will be my first RT. I'm excited and scared to death at the same time. :-)

Ciana Stone said...

Nic, no one would ever have imagined that you were a woman who'd had to learn to be outgoing. I have seen you blossom.

The first time I met you, (remember the LJ party?) you stood off to one side, those amazing eyes taking in everything, but not mingling a lot. I liked you so much and really did see something amazing lurking behind those bright eyes.

The second time,(Daytona) you were mingling a bit more, but still doing more watching than anything. I remember thinking that there was a LOT lurking beneath the surface and I was quite intrigued to discover what all was hiding behind those eyes.

I knew beyond all dount that when it came to the Hussies, we HAD to have you. That inner Hussy was something I wanted to see break free. (And I was so eager for the super nova that was going to accompay the event).

Now this year at RT, you were a confident, vivacious and sensual woman who no one would guess had ever suffered a shy or insecure moment.

Seeing the release of the inner Hussy is like watching a gorgeous sunrise. A new aspect emerged and the result? Baby you're one kick-ass woman. Smart, talented, funny, confident, sexy and with a sense of adventure and fun that is contagious.

I feel a little weepy to be honest. Thanks for sharing and ...

yes ...

you know it's coming ...


(well until I come back as a man, you know - then you better run like hell!)

Nicole Austin said...

Thanks, NJ! I do too. The first RT is just like...whoa. Hopefully it will help you to have friends from online around you. That made a big difference for me!

Ci, you rock! I am constantly amazed and humbled by your talent. ILYNNTW, too! (When you come back as a man I'll be running...straight for you! *G*)

Sally Painter said...

Aw... Nic! That is such a fantastic story about releasing your inner hussy!

When Ci and I started talking about inviting other authors to be hussies, you were the first one I thought of.

You were the first author in EC (a stranger so to speak, second only to my pre-EC friend, Ruth D. Kerce), to welcome me as a fellow author. You offered me friendship and even read my books! I was and still am so honored! But you went beyond that and actually reviewed my first book and subsequent ones and again, I am so overwhelmed and honored by one of my peers.

When you accepted our invitaion, I was just so darn excited because I'd felt a kindred connection with you from day one and the bond of a Hussy was just the natural order of that first email hello!

Congratulations on your self-discovery! What you've gained no one can ever take from you.

You are Hussy, hear you roar! I can't wait to meet you and the other hussies face-to-face at RT 2009!

Big Hussy Hugs! Love ya and so proud of ya!

TK Winters said...

Have I mentioned how proud I am that you're my sis? As we are twins, I fully relate to your story. I'm proud of you simply because you had the courage to share the story in public forum. Every woman needs a helping hand from a hussy to find the hussy in her own self.

I was so proud to see all those pictures coming in from RT I was running around yelling, John! John! Look at my sis! Isn't she wonderful! Isn't she beautiful!

Love ya, sis.

Nicole Austin said...

Thanks, Sally! I don't get on the EC loop much anymore but I loved it when I wasn't the newbie and could help others feel comfortable with the overwhelming rush of new things. And I love your book. Reading and reviewing them was definitely my pleasure.

It's going to be so amazing to have all five of us together in Orlando! I can't wait to meet you in person.

Thanks, TK! (my twin sister from another mother *g*) I had Candy reaad the story before I posted it, but actually posting it wasn't as hard as it would have been before RT. And doing so didn't make me feel exposed, just proud over how far I've come.

NathalieGray said...

I never, ever would have guessed you were shy. Ever. Anytime during you life, youth or adulthood. I'm shocked.

And that dress was like an explosion of the satin kind. I swear, it gave me girlwood!

Nicole Austin said...! That dress was worth every penny I paid for it!