Maybe I should clarify that title. I’m actually referring to the character Eminem played in the movie 8 Mile. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith. Remember him? He was the poor white kid from Detroit who was going nowhere fast, despite his dreams of becoming a famous rapper.
So how are we so tight? Well, we have a few things in common. Okay, maybe only a very, very few things. Maybe two.
First, we both came from poor, single-parent households in Detroit. Okay, okay, in Michigan. I was actually raised in mid-Michigan, although it was an ethnically mixed, solidly blue-collar, factory town. And I lived in a trailer park for a minute when I was in sixth grade.
But I live in Detroit now. Okay, okay, in the ‘burbs. My version of Detroit involves the DIA, the Riverfront, The Whitney, the Renaissance Center, Eastern Market, Fox Theatre, Ford Field, and Tigers Stadium (okay, Comerica Park, but I’m plenty old enough to remember games at Tigers Stadium — not to mention Joe Lewis Arena, which isn’t going away like Tigers Stadium did, but it’s the last season the Red Wings will play there). How about Belle Isle, Hitsville USA, and the casinos? Oh, and Greektown and Mexicantown. Speaking of awesome restaurants, how about Roast, Punch Bowl Social, The Rathskeller? The list goes on, much like the beat…
Wait, I’ve completely digressed from the purpose of this post. I was trying to show you the connection I feel with Jimmy Smith from 8 Mile. It’s more than just our poor roots and undoubtedly shared favorable opinions about all those cool places in Detroit. (For the record, I have no idea if Jimmy, or Eminem for that matter, like any of those places I noted; I’m making a biased assumption based on the fact we all live in the Detroit area and take a bit of pride in our hometown.)
Anyway, what really helps me feel connected to Jimmy is … that award I won on October 8th, for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT!!!
**Author pitch here: It’s a super awesome book about two broken people who are forced to figure out how to get along and then end up growing as individuals and having super steamy sex. Many times. So it’s practically the perfect romance novel. Just sayin’. **
Never have I felt so connected to Jimmy Smith as I did on the Monday after winning that Rone Award at the InD’Scribe Conference. (Read my funny blog post about what it was like to be a first time award winner here.)
We both, ultimately, won the award, reached the pinnacle… And then went back to work afterward. Work, as in the job that paid the bills, the one that had nothing whatsoever to do with those dreams floating around in our heads.
On that Monday morning, as I sat in my car, creeping my way through rush hour traffic, all I could think about was that scene in 8 Mile, when Jimmy wins (oops, spoiler alert!) and everybody’s celebrating, and for a minute, he’s king of the world….
And then the DJ tries to convince him to stay, to be a host at the club, and Jimmy says nah, I gotta get back to work. Not only does he need to continue to earn a steady paycheck, but he had asked a friend to cover his shift for him, and he couldn’t let that guy down, either. So altruistic, so brave, so deserving of that award. And someday, so big, so successful; finally breaking free of that poor, sometimes seemingly hopeless life.
Okay, we don’t quite yet have that in common. I mean, sure, I’ve moved beyond my poor roots, without a doubt, but I’m no Eminem.
Until then, I’ll smile every time I walk past that award on display in my dining room (deliberately, I might add), I’ll giggle every time my husband manages to work it into yet another seemingly unrelated conversation, and I’ll keep writing. And dreaming. Big dreams. Huge dreams.
I’m ready to lose myself.
Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and an AWARD WINNER. She’s pretty damn giddy about it, can you tell?
PS – She’s participating in a Halloween Facebook Hop this week – go to her Facebook page to check out the deets and win PRIZES: