Thursday, February 09, 2006

Dancing with the Cabana Boys!

Wow, it's late. Or early, if you're in the UK somewhere. But for me, this is very, very late.

And I'm wiped out! All for good reasons, though. An evening session with a bookstore owner talking about the ins and outs of book purchasing and distribution, which was fascinating.

Or I'm really, really boring and don't get out much...which is probably true anyway.

But I have BIG NEWS!

In the past six months, I've entered a couple contests. In both cases, actually for the feedback. I know, I know, that's what you're supposed to say, but it's true. October 31, I found out the intro to my manuscript, Suspicious Circumstances, had made the first cut in an open-genre competition. Which turned out, in the end, to mean nothing more than that, because the people who put the contest on didn't come through with the prize long-listed authors were supposed to get.

Though I think the short-listed people got zinged far more than I did, but that's another story and I'm not going there. The reality is, I entered the contest, I placed in it somewhere, and I felt pretty good for a bit. It was enough to get other publishers interested in my manuscript. So in the end, it worked out for me.

This time, I entered for peanuts for a pricetag ($5 US and they give feedback on the whole manuscript, not just the first 3000 words) and guess what?

I won Best Fiction.

The editorial feedback from this publisher has been very helpful. Considering what it would have cost me to print off my manuscript and pay for postage to mail it, the $5 US entry fee was a steal.

And now I'm a winner! Which is always better than being a loser.

In this era where it is so hard for new writers to get published, where it's so hard for new writers to even get their material looked at, feedback and a prize to boot from a publisher is huge. Staggering. I'm in complete shock, swaying from tears to shrieks to excessive drinking and...well, actually, I'm too tired for any of it. My mind is mush, my brain numb, and I know tomorrow morning I'm going to get up and come check my email to see if this really did happen.

But despite the mental melt-down, I feel pretty damn good.

And I'll stop boring you and bring on the jokes and general entertainment!

Does this ever ring true!

An older married couple noticed that they were both having a
problem remembering things so they agreed to start writing
everything down. The lady then asked her husband if he would go
to the kitchen and get her some ice cream. He started out the
door and she said, Aren't you going to write it down?"

He said "No, I think I can remember a simple bowl of ice cream."

She said, "Yes, dear, but I want some chocolate syrup on it too."

"I still think I can remember a bowl of ice cream with chocolate
syrup on it," he replied, starting out the door.

"Yes, dear," she said, "but I want you to put some peanuts on it,
too. Do you think you can remember all that?"

"No problem, honey," he said and was gone.

When he finally got back to the room he was carrying a plate of
bacon and eggs. The old woman shook her head and began
scolding her husband. "Well, I told you to write it all down," she
said. "Look, you've forgotten my toast!"

Pinched from James. Who clearly doesn't talk about ME enough on his blog. Hmmph. And he's so big here.


Bonnie Calhoun said...

The joke was great.

The wallpaper is neat, I saw that over at papaerback writer, I think!

Congratulations on the win. I hope it leads to publication!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Bonnie! My goodness, you're up late too!

Bernita said...

What a lovely credit, besides a boost!
Feel free to talk about it to any length.
I love to hear about success.
It gives us hope.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Bernita! On the one hand, you get excited, but on the other hand, you're just so shocked!

But there is always reason for hope! You have wonderful style. Believe, B!

Erik Ivan James said...

I agree with Bernita, please do talk about this accomplishment to any length you desire. I'm sure that the rest of us will benefit by what you have to share.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Do you mean the bad experience as well as the good? Just elaborating?

Or just how nice it is to finally have someone tell me I'm not a hopeless hack?

JamesO said...

Great news Sandra - well done.

And some things really should be kept between ourselves, don't you think;}#

Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh dear James, did I let it slip out?

(Thanks! LOL! Want to read SC?)

(How did blogger post my original comment on top of yours? Ah, the mysteries of blogger!)

R.J. Baker said...

Congrats Sandra. You deserve it. You've worked very hard. Good luck with the novel placement.


M. G. Tarquini said...

Congrats, Sandra!

I hope you had a very nice dinner out to celebrate!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh, uh, did we? We didn't know about the contest until later last night!

But thanks, everyone. I'm glad I entered this contest, and it has been a really positive experience for me.

E. Ann Bardawill said...


Please have my Cabana Boys dry cleaned before you bring them back to my place, mmmm kay?


JamesO said...

Actually, I meant about being so big...

But yes, I'd like to see SC. I show you mine, and you show me yours;}#

(I hope evil kev's not reading this)

Sandra Ruttan said...

I know...did you miss me letting the big thing slip out?

Oh boy. I'm going to be quiet now!

I can't wait to get a look at yours!

Sandra Ruttan said...

And E, the cabana boys will come back slightly rumpled, but happy.

If I can get enough alcohol...

Gabriele C. said...

Congrats, Sandra.

Seems I've to put some more chairs into that room in the gutter. :-)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Did you just suggest I belong in the gutter?!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sandra!! Great news.

And that word cloud is pretty funky.

Trace said...


Sandra Ruttan said...

You guys rock! Really! Pass the cabana boys and the wine gums (Kim Kim, where are you when I need you?)

Kate said...

Congratulations! And good luck with publishing deals!

I like your joke - I'll email it to my nearly old parents.

Gabriele C. said...

Sandra, most of my friends from the blogroll and LJ list are down there with me. :-)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well then Gabriele, pass me a drink and put me down.

Sandra Ruttan said...

And thanks Kate! Some of us can already relate. Advanced aging?

Boy Kim said...

Another woman who only wants me for my wine gums.

Story of my life.

I'm ready, willing and flexable and all they want is my wine gums.

Kate said...

Precocious is the word you're looking for, Sandra!

Sandra Ruttan said...


Kim, wine gums aren't a metaphor for anything are they?

Boy Kim said...

Not in the context of this conversation, nope.

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Wow! Congrats, Sandra! I'm away from blogland for a couple days and look at you - a WINNER! WOW!!! More good things to come, I'm sure (the Bun-Shui says so!)

M. G. Tarquini said...

The Bun-Shui is never wrong. Except for that little incident with Canadian's Prime Minister. And the dog. And the blue frisbee thing with the blinky light.

But other than that. The Bun-Shui is RIGHT on.